If you’re a fan of Vietnamese food, like Kim and I are, you will have noticed something by now: Vietnamese cuisine is super simple. Most dishes contain few ingredients, basic cooking techniques, and pull from one core of flavors. Yet, despite the simplicity, the food manages to be complex on the tastebuds, exciting, and full of flavor.
What is this, wizardry?
No, it’s not wizardry. If anything, it’s the combination of precise technique, knowledge of what flavors compliment each other, and joy in cooking. I’m aware that all sounds very cheesy, but it’s true.
Falling in line with those principles, these spring rolls are very, very simple. Inside the roll is shredded lettuce, brown rice vermicelli noodles (thin rice noodles), sliced avocado, and tofu that’s been pan fried in sesame oil and finished off with a touch of tamari. The dipping sauce is comprised of almond butter, tamari, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, a touch of sriracha & sesame oil, and water to thin. However, the sauce can be further simplified to contain only almond butter, tamari, vinegar, maple syrup, and water, if you’re feelin’ particularly minimal.
While I used to be one to load whatever I made full of spices and seasonings, Vietnamese cuisine has taught me to appreciate simpler cooking, because when the right amount of salt, acidity, sweetness, and freshness come together, the result is perfection.
We hope you enjoy these spring rolls as much as we do. If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Seared Tofu Spring Rolls w/ Sweet & Spicy Almond Butter Dip
Fresh, traditional Vietnamese style spring rolls with sweet, tangy, lightly spicy almond butter dipping sauce.
- 10-12 spring roll wrappers
- 16 oz block firm tofu
- 8 oz brown rice maifun or vermicelli noodles
- 1 ripe hass avocado, thinly sliced
- 5 leaves romaine lettuce, shredded
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp tamari sauce
Almond Butter Sauce:
- 1/2 c almond butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 2 med garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
- Remove tofu from package and wrap up in a clean tea towel. Place a heavy object such as a cast iron skillet on top of the tofu and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove pan and tea towel and cut tofu into 20 even strips.
- To a large skillet heated over medium-high heat, add sesame oil followed by tofu slices. Cook until brown and crispy on one side, 4-5 minutes, flip, and cook another 4-5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp tamari sauce and toss to coat. Once the tamari has been absorbed and evaporated, transfer tofu to a plate and set aside.
- Prepare maifun/vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. I placed my noodles into a large mesh strainer and set that strainer into boiling water for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (reference photo in post). After they’ve cooked, run them under cold water until cool. Set aside.
- Using the hot water left over from cooking the noodles, completely dip your spring roll wrappers into the water for no more than 3 seconds and set on a plate.
- Assemble by laying down a little bit of noodles, followed by lettuce, two slices of avocado, and two pieces of tofu in the front middle of the wrapper (reference photo in post).
- Grab the piece of wrapper closest to you and pull it over the ingredients, fold the sides in, then roll tightly until completely tight.*
- Repeat for remaining spring rolls.
- To make sauce, combine all ingredients in a small blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Serve spring rolls immediately with plenty of almond butter dipping sauce.
*Verbally explaining how to wrap spring can be difficult, so if you are still confused on the process, watch this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfI1wMeDXhg