These autumn rolls are made with rice paper wrappers stuffed with curried scrambled tofu, kale and peanuts, and served with a zesty sweet ginger sauce.
In case you hadn’t already gathered, autumn is my favorite time of year. That being the case, and since food making is one of my favorite things to do, I’ve got a mind to transform every food item imaginable into something fall-themed. That’s where these rolls came about.
So much evolution went into this recipe. I decided a few weeks ago that some curried tofu needed to go into a spring roll type package, and dubbing the result an “autumn roll” seemed the appropriate thing to do. I went through a few versions of the recipe in my head, but I knew a few things were key: curried tofu, peanuts, and some dipping sauce with a kick. What I didn’t expect was to have a hard time finding wrappers. In case you’re not down with roll lingo, spring rolls are (generally) fried, while summer rolls are made with uncooked, soaked rice paper wrappers.
In any event, if you follow the logic that the heat applied to the food should be inversely proportional to the temperature outside, these, being autumn rolls, should be cooked. I didn’t anticipate having a hard time finding vegan spring roll wrappers – not the rice paper kind, mind you, but the dough type, which is the only type I’d ever cooked. When I first got to the supermarket I couldn’t find wrappers at all. After 20 minutes of conspiring and being led around the store by two helpful employees, I ended up with a pack of egg roll wrappers in hand, which, in case you were wondering, do contain eggs. I felt bad and waited until the two store helpers were out of sight to put the wrappers back on the shelf and vacate.
When I got home I decided to simply give these a shot using ripe paper wrappers, sans cooking. Frying makes me nervous. I’d seen and been inspired by this recipe for spring samosas, which bakes rice paper wrappers into little triangles with a samosa-type filling. I considered baking my rolls, but in the end I decided uncooked rice paper wrappers are plenty satisfying to eat, so I went ultra lazy and just rolled and ate. (If anyone wants to try baking these using the guidelines in the spring samosa recipe, please do so, and let me know what you think.)
The resultant rolls ended up being delicious, and seasonally appropriate, even without the outside being cooked. I attribute that to the abundance of curry in the roll and ginger in the sauce.
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 cups lacinato kale, stems removed and cut into ½ inch wide strips
- ¼ cup roasted and salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 8 rice paper wrappers
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1½ tbsp. agave
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Crumble tofu into skillet. Add kale and peanuts. Saute until kale is wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Add lime juice, soy sauce, curry powder, cilantro and scallion. Remove from heat and flip a few times with spatula to blend.
- Place a sheet of parchment on working surface. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water. Soak a rice paper wrapper until pliable, about 30 seconds. Remove and place flat on parchment.
- Place ¼ cup of tofu mixture into center of wrap. Fold opposite sides inward, then fold the top over filling. Roll towards you to wrap the remaining bottom portion of wrapper around roll.
- Repeat until all filling and wraps are used.
- Whisk all ingredients together.
I've found the parchment paper to be crucial in rolling rice paper wraps. Most package instructions will tell you to roll over a towel, but I have much better luck with parchment. The wraps won't stick and should roll up pretty easily. Use a paper towel to blot any excess water from the parchment between rolls.