My husband tells me this recipe is worth the entire price of the book! Tofu is baked in a flavorful orange-ginger marinade, then paired with tart apple and sweet Napa cabbage and rolled in a rice paper wrapper. For younger kids, try leaving out the cabbage, cilantro, and scallion.
The Wonders of Rice Paper: Rice paper wrappers are a fantastic alternative to bread for the gluten-intolerant. Look for them in packages at Asian markets. Dry and hard when purchased, they become soft and pliable with a quick soak in warm water. Wrap up any favorite salad or baked tofu to make a handy portable lunch.
- Yield: 9 rolls
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- A pinch of cayenne
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 9 (8-inch diameter) dried rice paper wrappers
- 18 fresh cilantro stems
- 1 cup finely shredded Napa cabbage
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 9 large leaf or butterhead lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
- Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel and set it on a plate. Put another plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy. Press the tofu for 30 minutes.
- Make a marinade by whisking together 3 tablespoons of the orange juice, the mirin, soy sauce, and canola oil. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cayenne.
- Cut the tofu into three slices lengthwise, then turn the tofu block on its side and cut into thirds again, making nine equal slices. Place the slices in an 8 × 8-inch baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes, then turn the slices over and let sit for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the tofu and marinade for 40 minutes, until it is golden brown and the marinade is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
- Peel, core, and thinly slice the Granny Smith apple. Toss the apple slices with the remaining tablespoon of orange juice to keep them from browning.
- Dip one of the wrappers in a wide bowl filled with warm water for 15 seconds, or until softened. Transfer to a dry work surface and pat dry. Arrange a slice of tofu along with some apple slices, 2 sprigs of cilantro, some Napa cabbage, and scallions in a mound just below the center of the wrapper. Roll up the rice paper to form a tight bundle, folding in the sides along the way.
- Serve or pack each roll wrapped in a lettuce leaf (this will keep the spring roll from sticking to the plate). If packing for later, cover the rolls with a damp paper towel and some plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
From the book Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2008.