Lately we've been making spring rolls at home a lot, so I thought I'd share a fun variation: marinated spicy tofu! If you're already a tofu-lover, then I probably don't need to convince you to try this. But, maybe you're not so hot on tofu? Too bland and mushy for you? Then you've GOT to try this, as it's a simple way to make super flavorful tofu with a little texture to it. Plus all the goodness of spring rolls and spicy peanut sauce – yum!
I seriously love this tofu recipe. If you have leftovers, turn them into a wrap, sandwich, or add it to a stir fry. You could also skip the spring roll wraps and just make a big, flavor-packed salad from the same ingredients with the sauce as the dressing.
Need even more options? You could also totally change up what's inside the rolls. I've included what I like best for these in the recipe below, but some other options includes: carrots, quinoa or brown rice, avocado, or cucumber.
14 oz extra firm tofu, one package
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger
For the peanut sauce:
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (natural is best)
1/4 cup coconut milk
salt to taste
For the spring rolls:
6-8 spring roll wrappers
3-4 cups lettuce (one big head)
6-8 basil leaves
6-8 mint leaves
12-16 cilantro leaves
1/2 red bell pepper
Remove the tofu from the package and place between two plates, lined with paper towels so that the tofu is in the center. Place something slightly heavy on top of the second plate, like a can of beans or a bowl. The goal here is to press out as much liquid from the tofu as you can, while that moisture absorbs into the paper towels. Let that sit for 3-5 minutes.
While that sits, in a glass measuring cup or a small mixing bowl, stir together the soy sauce, ketchup, honey, sesame oil, vinegar, pepper flakes, chili powder, and ginger. Set aside.
Remove the tofu from the paper towels and cut lengthwise into three pieces. Then cut into thin rectangles, almost like tofu fries. (See photos if that doesn't make sense.) Pour about 1/4 of the sauce into a shallow bowl or baking dish, add the tofu pieces in one layer, then pour the remaining sauce over the top. Allow that to sit and absorb for an hour (or longer if needed). It will absorb fairly quickly, but if you need to make this in the morning, cover and refrigerate all day while you're at work. That's totally fine too. Not all of the sauce will absorb into the tofu, and that's fine! Reserve this before baking (it will be around 1/4 cup of liquid).
Place the tofu pieces on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, flip the pieces, and continue baking for 12-15 minutes. I baked the ones you see in this post for the full 30 minutes, as I really like having a few crispy (but not quite burnt) edges. If you want to bake them for slightly less time, that's fine too.
To make the peanut sauce, combine in a medium to large mixing bowl the reserved 1/4 cup marinade, peanut butter, and coconut milk. Whisk to combine. Taste and season with salt if needed. If you want the sauce to be a little thinner in consistency, add a tablespoon or two of hot water and whisk, but I like the sauce on the thicker side myself.
Roll up your spring rolls so that each gets two pieces of tofu, lettuce, a torn basil leaf, a torn mint leaf, a chive, two cilantro leaves, and some thinly sliced bell pepper. If you've never made spring rolls before, check out this basic tutorial.
Serve with the sauce and a lime wedge. I like to squeeze a little lime juice inside the roll just before eating. It's a bit of work, but such a delicious and I think pretty impressive dinner option. We love them anyway! Thanks for letting me share. xx. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.