These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect summer rolls.
But Professor Ali very intentionally added an extra ingredient to the concoction:
Thus, the Toasted Coconut-Kale Summer Rolls with Lemongrass Tofu were born!
Using their ultra-scrumptious powers, Coconut, Kale, and Tofu have dedicated their lives to filling bellies and pleasing…our…tastebuds!
Boop, boop, be doo be doo bop, tweedle-oop, doop, be doo be doo bop!
For those of you scratching your heads, tempted to unsubscribe from Farmers Market Vegan, I would urge you to take a quick gander at this minute-long video to gain a bit of insight into the aspect of 90’s pop culture I’m attempting to reference here. Or you could simply recreate the recipe below to remind yourself why on earth you ever followed this blog in the first place. Either way, thank you for allowing me to indulge in a smidgen of childhood nostalgia. Now, I wonder if any episodes of Dexter’s Laboratory are available for free download…
Toasted Coconut-Kale Summer Rolls with Lemongrass Tofu—Nut Free
Makes 8-10 summer rolls.
For the tofu:
1 lb extra firm or firm tofu, drained and pressed for at least an hour
3 tbsp olive oil
2 stalks of dried lemongrass, snipped into small pieces OR 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp tamari
For the kale:
12 leaves of lacinato kale (about half of a medium-sized bunch), shredded
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp tamari
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
8-10 rice paper wrappers (I’m a huge fan of the brown rice wrappers from Star Anise Foods—Whole Foods carries them)
Slice the block of pressed tofu widthwise into 6-8 rectangles. In a glass dish large enough to hold the tofu in one layer, combine the rest of the tofu ingredients (oil through tamari). Lay each slice of tofu, on one of its widest sides, in the bottom of the dish. Let the tofu marinate for at least 20 minutes, flipping halfway through the marinating time (if you decide to marinate the tofu for more than an hour, you should stick the whole dish in the refrigerator).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss all of the kale ingredients (kale through tamari) together in a large mixing bowl until the kale is well-coated in the dressing. Spread the kale in a single layer onto a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, taking care not to let the coconut burn.
Once the tofu has marinated for at least 20 minutes, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lay each strip of tofu into the pan and let them cook for about 5 minutes on each side. About a minute before the tofu has finished cooking on its second side, pour the remaining marinade over the strips of tofu and let sizzle. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the tofu to sit until cool enough to handle. Slice each rectangle of tofu into thinner, long strips so that they’ll fit nicely into the summer rolls.
To assemble the summer rolls, fill a large dish with warm water and place a large, mostly flat ceramic plate in front of you as your workplace. One at a time, dip the rice paper wrappers into the water, making sure to moisten the entire wrapper but taking care to not let the wrappers sit in the water for more than a couple of seconds (lest they become soggy). Lay the wrapper flat onto the ceramic plate and place a row of coconut-kale about an inch away from the edge of the wrapper closest to you. Layer two strips of tofu on top of the kale, and a sprig or two of cilantro on top of the tofu. Roll the edge of the wrapper closest to you over the filling, tuck the “wings” of the wrapper into the center, and continue rolling. Check out this link for a step-by-step tutorial of how to assemble summer rolls.
Serve the summer rolls with a peanut or almond butter-based dipping sauce. Julie’s recipe at The Simple Veganista holds the title of my favorite peanut sauce of all time.
Until next time, Ali.