If you’ve never attempted spring rolls, you likely think it’s more challenging than it actually is. It takes a few attempts to get used to handling the rice paper wrappers, but once you get the hang of it, you’re gold. Today’s combination of spring roll fillings has been a favorite this summer. Grilled tofu coated with a golden, turmeric marinade is the base. The marinade is spiked with garlic and ginger and you can thin out any extra (with a bit of hot water) for a perfect dipping sauce. Herbs, asparagus spears, and a kiss of hot sauce fill the rolls out from there.
Spring Roll Pro-tip
The tip I wish someone had told me sooner is this. To soften up the wrappers they are dunked into a bowl of hot water. The mistake most beginners make is leaving them in the hot water too long. Dunk, count to three, remove. The wrappers will continue to absorb water as you’re filling them, and they are much easier to handle when they aren’t oversaturated and super-clingy to start with.
A Quick Dipping Sauce
You’ll likely have a good amount of marinade leftover here. I typically use it to marinate something else immediately. Or(!), I turn it into a quick dipping sauce for the spring rolls. This time around I added a couple of tablespoons of tahini to the leftover marinade, a couple pinches of red chile flakes, a big squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt. You thin it out with some hot water and a good amount of whisking. Taste, and adjust until it is to your liking. Voila!
Pretty Spring Rolls
Because rice paper wrappers are semi-translucent, you can line them with beautiful ingredients and they will show through. Here I use whisper-thin slices of watermelon radish and you get that pop of pink, but there’s no reason you couldn’t experiment with all sorts of leaves, herbs – basically anything pliable, and complementary to the other ingredients in your spring rolls.