Grilled Tofu Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

in Appetizers, Snacks

I’m the hunt for my first adult couch. Up until now I’ve been living very college-like, mainly because I’d rather buy a pair of shoes or go to a new restaurant or save my money than sit on something nice and grown-up, BUT I’m changing!

I have this weird urge to be a grown-up and I’m thinking buying a piece of furniture might catapult me there. I now realize the only thing worse than shopping for a new apartment, bathing suit and health insurance is shopping for a new couch.

Can we say expensivo. Also: why?! Where’s the happy medium between Ikea and Awesome…at Ikea prices? I need to know this. If you have any affordable/adorable/expensive looking couch recommendations, I’m open! I wanna hear!

I don’t have a proper blog-esque segue from couch talk to spring roll talk, so I’ll start at the beginning: it’s hot outside.

And when it’s hot all I want to do is make stuff that’s cool and fresh tasting. I always, always want spring rolls when I’m hot.

Up until like 5 days ago, I never thought to make them at home. Turns out, soooo easy and cheap and awesome. My mama, who is recently vegetarian taught me how.

You can literally put anything you like in them, like shrimp, chicken, steak, etc. I figured I’d stay healthy with some grilled tofu.

I cut up some carrots, cucumber and jalapeño; bought some herbs…

And placed all of it in the center and rolled ‘em up! Super easy. Here’s a little picture how-to to make things a little easier, if you’ve never done it before. Kind of like rolling a burrito…just like they do at Chipotle. You know how to do this in your sleep.

I made some peanut butter dipping sauce and boom! The perfect hot day snack/dinner.

Grilled Tofu Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Print this recipe!

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

Rolls:
1/2 package (about 8 ounces) of extra firm tofu
8 round rice paper sheets
1 carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 jalapeño, julienned
3/4 cup vermicelli noodles, cooked per the package’s instructions and cooled to room temperature
1 handful fresh mint
1 handful fresh Thai basil
1 handful cilantro

1. To make peanut dipping sauce, add 1/3 cup of water to a small saucepan. Add peanut butter, rice vinegar, ginger and salt. Whisk until smooth. Remove and transfer to a ramekin. Top with chopped peanuts.

2. To drain the tofu, wrap it in a few paper towels and transfer it to a bowl. Place another bowl atop the wrapped tofu and allow it to drain for 10 minutes. (This will take a lot of its moisture out, which will help in achieving those nice grill marks.)

3. Meanwhile, gather your herbs, vegetables and noodles. When the tofu is ready, slice in 3 x 3-inch batons. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. When hot, add tofu, cooking on each side for 2-3 minutes and until grill marks appear. When the tofu is warm, brush each piece with a light coating of fish sauce. (P.S. Skipping this step is totally fine. I liked them with and without the fish sauce.)

4. To assemble the spring rolls: Fill a shallow, wide bowl with warm water. Dip the rice paper sheet in the warm water for about 5 seconds, and until the paper sheet becomes slightly soft. After it leaves the water, it’ll continue to absorb the water so be sure to not over-soak it. Transfer the rice paper sheet to a flat surface. Working quickly, place all of the filling ingredients toward the bottom of the sheet: a piece of tofu, a few julienned carrots, cucumber, jalapeño, and a small handful of noodles. Top with the herbs: thai basil, mint and cilantro. Fold in the sides first and then fold the bottom half over the filling, rolling away from you. Repeat process until you’ve made about 8 spring rolls.

Makes 8 spring rolls

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks July 6, 2012 at 12:34 am

I love making spring rolls and yours are absolutely PERFECT! You have surgeon’s hands…they are little works of perfect art!

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:40 am

HAHA! So funny. THANK YOU!

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Margherita July 6, 2012 at 2:23 am

Yummy! Those spring rolls look unbelievable. You are really skilled in the rolling thing…hats off to you!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

I love that you grilled the tofu! Yum!

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cindy July 6, 2012 at 4:54 am

I want those rolls!

and…I bought my grown-up couch at Macy’s. I wasn’t sure that I would find anything there, but I did and it was on sale. I’ve had it 2 years now and LOVE it. It’s this couch (mine is grey/brown, which they don’t have, but that ochre is a dream!) http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/clare-fabric-sofa-82w-x-37d-x-37h?ID=672571&CategoryID=35419#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D349%26ruleId%3D53%26slotId%3Drec(5)

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:40 am

Oh that’s very grownup looking and nice.

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Symone July 6, 2012 at 6:17 am

Hi!!! I love your blog and your nails and basically you. I totally hear you on the adult furniture front…is it sad I still “dumpster dive” for my stuff? Eh, whatevs :) But I’m totally going to recommend this site: http://homereserve.com/
Its kinda like Ikea, but not…and they have sweet leather stuff, which looks all grown up to me!

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

Haha! No I do this too. Not sad. Thank you for the site recommendation!

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alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog] July 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

I’m loving the idea of slicing up a jalapeno like the cucumber + carrot to add some subtle heat. A must-do next time we make summer rolls!

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Allyn July 6, 2012 at 7:24 am

Sometimes being a grownup is just too damn expensive. Sigh.
The only reason I have as nice of living room furniture as I do is because I convinced my at the time boyfriend (now husband) to buy the nice used set from his boss back when we were dating. Haha. Sucker.
I know I’d have a really hard time spending that much now.
These rolls look great! Perfect for the INSANE heat we’re having in TN right now.

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

These look like perfection!!! Btw — love your nail polish color in those rolling pictures!

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Christina July 6, 2012 at 7:34 am

I have an Ikea couch in storage right now, but when I take it out I’m going to slipcover it to give it a whole new feel. But yeah, couches ain’t cheap.

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Maggie July 6, 2012 at 7:56 am

these rolls look light and delicious! so i wont feel like I ate rocks for lunch.

I am the living testament for craigslist. I got a $900 couch for $400 on craigslist. A couple had it covered in plastic in their garage because it was too big for their living room. it was in perfect condition. its a gigantic two piece L sectional. so craigslist is my vote. just make sure you bring a chaperone with you & pepper spray just in case.

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

I hope I have your type of luck.

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myfudo July 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

Looks light, fresh and crisp…Spring rolls are so in for the summer. ;)
I am definitely gonna try this!

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Bun July 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

I got my couch from Living Spaces…good quality, not a bad price, came with a cleaner, cheap delivery, and then even threw in like a ‘sealer’ spray coat before they delivered it to me (to prevent stains etc). ANNNDDD it’s a super fun little sectional (in eggplant purple might I add)- but the ‘sectional’ part you can move to either side…so you don’t have to commit to one particular L-shape…which is good for someone like me who needs to rearrange furniture frequently.

Love your blog- and good luck on the couch hunt!!

xoxo bun.
http://bybun.com/

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Katie @ Blonde Ambition July 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

I love the addition of sliced jalapenos in this!

My BF’s Filipino stepmom recently taught me how to make lumpia– these things really look soo much harder to make than they are! But they’re such a party pleaser!

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

Oh that sounds awesome.

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Denise July 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

I know what you mean about that couch being like buying a swimsuit. A few years ago, when we moved in together, we got rid of L’s “boy” couch and my “college PB stripe one”. We searched for a couple months, high and low, finally found a guy via Craigslist that custom made couches. It is a mid-century style, down filled and the color we wanted. The best part it was the same price as if we went to Ikea and bought one of their high end models. And, if you think, couches are tough wait until you start buying dining room furniture. We just bought a house and needed a proper dining room table. Major sticker shock!

Spring rolls are a great summertime treat, and they are fun to make with a group. We have them often during hot, steamy summer time dinner parties. Very fun!

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

Where do you live? I need this! Please say it’s in LA.

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Liza July 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I also had good luck at Macy’s. The other neat thing is they usually have good financing options so you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars upfront! I ended up with some Martha Stewart couches and they are great!

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/martha-stewart-sofa-saybridge?ID=625489&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results

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Stacey July 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I HATE my couches. Fun fact: my dad and husband went to pick them up the day before our wedding, left the pillows (there are infinity pillows on the damn things) on the couch and love seat while they were on the trailer, and proceeded to lose 30% of the pillows driving down the highway. I nearly killed them.

These spring rolls are dreamy.

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Rebecca July 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

If you need to save money, I’d go the Craigslist route. With couches, you get what you pay for 100%.

That being said, http://www.homedecorators.com/ has some good prices, and really good reviews. If you want help, I went to school for this, and sofa’s are my favorite piece of furniture, so I’d be more than happy to help! :)

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Young Wifey July 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Gorgeous! And jalepeno in it! Yum!

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sarah July 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm

West Elm seems to be the grown up IKEA. I got my “couch” from there but it’s essentially a daybed with tons of pillows tossed on it. It looks great AND serves as a spot for friends to crash.

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dervla @ The Curator July 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Yummm! Love the veggies peeking through the clear spring rolls. Like the commenter above, i also purchase most of my furniture from West Elm. I wouldn’t say it’s the cheapest but they do have lovely stuff.

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Dana July 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

These look tasty! I especially like the looks of the jalapeno. I’ve got some char siu marinating to make later tonight… you may have inspired me into making spring rolls!

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Eileen July 8, 2012 at 11:32 am

First couch: hooray! We just got our first adult couch about 8 months ago. So, you know, it’s totally normal to be 34 when you buy your first couch, just FYI. :) I can’t offer cheap recs though–we got our couch at a Crate & Barrel sale, & used a gift card besides.

Those summer rolls look perfect!

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Megan July 9, 2012 at 6:02 am

Do they have http://www.made.com in America? It’s over here in the UK and the prices are pretty good. I am also on a grown-up couch mission. I found the one of my dreams, but it’s very expensive. (It’s here: https://pinterest.com/pin/161848180328787288) I’m thinking of saving for it. I’m with you that I think it will make the big difference in my life between living like a grown up and, well, not. But buying it also means having a grown up income, which is just not in the foreseeable future for a struggling artist. I just have to keep believing that Amy Poehler is going to discover me and make me famous very soon! Then it’s couches for everybody!

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

No they don’t but I’m looking now. Looks awesome!

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Sara B July 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

I totally hear you on the couch front. My boyfriend decided he was tired of the couch we bought off Overstock (do NOT buy a couch online w/o sitting on it in person), it had never been great, and it quickly got worse. So we shopped the week of 4th of July, in order to get sale prices, and bought a couch at Macy’s for @ 30% off.
I’d recommend doing some research in person at some of your local retailers, writing down the names of sofa’s you like, and then go back to buy one the week of Labor Day for a sale price. :) Or, possibly, if you find one you love before Labor Day, tell the salesperson you love it, but plan on buying on Labor Day weekend to get a sale price, they might offer you a discounted price then and there. :D

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Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

Good pro-tips! Thank you!

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Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen July 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

The same weekend I bought my couch I purchased a handbag that cost more…so I might not be the best person to give advice on this front. However, I will tell you that I found my very cute couch at Value City Furniture, and it doesn’t look Value City-ish at all. My only recommendation is that you avoid Ashley Furniture at all cost. They sent me a broken armchair and charged me $250 in shipping cost to replace it, so I smack talk them all over the internet whenever possible :)

Furniture shopping is the most frustrating thing ever. Good luck!

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Emily Henson July 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

Hi Adrianna!
I’m a friend of Teri’s – we met last year at a Rue party. I just started following your blog. It’s great! If the sun ever decides to come out in London this summer I will be making these for sure. Best of luck with your couch hunt. I say forget the grown-up couch. Being a grown up is overrated – go for something like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/276830708315324404/.

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Adrianna July 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hi Emily! YAY! So glad you found me. Umm…I’m really in love with that idea. It’s so rad. Hope London is treating you well! xo

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Brittany July 10, 2012 at 10:23 am

We got our first “adult” couch at Macy’s after much searching and crying over the ridiculous prices at most places. Ours was ~$850 with delivery & some kind of protection plan. I LOVE IT. Makes me feel very Betty Draper.

Couldn’t find ours on their site, but it’s kinda sorta like this: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/ava-fabric-sofa-81w-x-37d-x-34h-custom-colors?ID=702666&CategoryID=35419#fn=MATERIAL%3DFabric%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D136%26ruleId%3D53%26slotId%3D11

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Adrianna July 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

Oh that’s super fancy, grown-up looking! I’d feel like Betty, too!

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gold account July 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm

You can of course use any filling you desire, but my choice is some salty and hot fried cabbage. I ate these kinds of spring rolls for the first time several years ago when I was 16, if I remember correctly, and never forgot about them, I still crave them occasionally. Those fantastic and perfect spring rolls I got the pleasure to taste were made by a Chinese couple; they travel around Finland during the summer and serve food at different summer events. I haven’t been able to do the exact kind of cabbage I tried back then, but I’ve managed to make something almost like it, the biggest flavors in this are garlic and salt. I still regret not asking them what they used in those spring rolls.

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meatballs & milkshakes July 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

Yum! So easy and healthy!

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Alex & Arthur July 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I’m so hungry now. *drool*

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Allison July 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

These look so refreshing! Especially since it’s so hot outside. I could bathe in peanut sauce I love it so much. Also, you’re on my list of favorite blogs!
-Allison

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Rose July 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

This may have already been said, but, re: couch: Craigslist all the way! Yes, it takes some hunting, and there are a lot of seriously gross couches out there, but I bought a brand-new sectional for $700 – its sticker price was an outrageous $2200! If you want a nice couch at a decent price, Craigslist + patience is the way to go.

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Megan July 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Just thought I’d add my 10 cents on the couch front. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is a fantastic furniture company and they have a twice yearly 20% off special order sale (any frame, any fabric). I think the next one is in September, so check it out. Their furniture has a lifetime warranty- so it’ll truly be an adult couch. http://www.mgbwhome.com/

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Dionna Mash July 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I’ve attempted spring rolls before and could not get them to roll tight enough!! Haha what’s your secret?

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Adrianna August 1, 2012 at 12:32 am

When I rolled them, I just made sure to hold them as tightly as possible. Not too difficult! :)

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Dana August 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

Those rolls are one of my favorite things to make and to eat. I love the grill marks on the tofu!

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Adrianna August 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

Me too me too!

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Evi August 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Took some of your ingredient ideas to make Food Matters Project post. Although next time I’d like to do the noodles and tofu inside. Next time…

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Dayang Habsahton November 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Love your recipes….but one thing I want to know how you make the wrapper or do you get ready made from somewhere?

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Adrianna November 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I bought these from an Asian grocery store. But you should be able to find them at other grocery stores too like Whole Foods.

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