Tofu (extra firm)
For dipping sauce:
Natural peanut butter
1. Place the tofu between a few layers of paper or cloth kitchen towels, and put a heavy-ish weight on top to squeeze out water. Once the tofu is no longer soaking wet, lay it face-down on the counter and cut through the middle, as if you are cutting a thick slice of bread into two pieces to make a sandwich. Saute/fry these tofu slices in the vegetable oil, and then cut into strips:
2. Cook the rice noodles, following the directions on the package (this should be very quick, don't let them overcook). When the noodles are done, you can save the water for the rice paper by pouring it into a separate bowl.
3. Wash the cilantro and mint, pick the leaves off of the stems, and allow to dry (or blot, if you're impatient).
4. Now you have all of the ingredients ready, and you can begin to assemble the spring rolls. If the water from the rice noodles is too hot to touch, pour some of it off and add cold water. Take a piece of rice paper, and dip it into the water, getting the entire surface wet. It can still be a little stiff when you pull it out and put it onto the dish you will use for rolling.
5. Place a small amount of noodles, a piece of tofu,
7. One down, 19 to go! If the spring roll seems like it is bulging out, try using less of the rice noodles in each roll. 8. Once you have a platter of spring rolls, it's time to make the sauce. Spoon about a third of a cup of peanut butter into a pan, add about two tablespoons of water, and turn on a low flame. Stir in hoisin to taste.
Essentially you can put anything you want in these spring rolls. I've had a version with basil, lettuce, and carrot strips, and my dad is itching to try shrimp instead of tofu. If you have little kiddos in the kitchen they can get the mint and cilantro ready, which is a big help. I find making the rolls a lot of fun, especially when I sample the wares.