What could be more refreshing than a mixture of fresh, cool vegetables wrapped in a perfect little bundle of rice wrapper deliciousness?
I like to steam tempeh for about 10 minutes before marinating it, to give it a milder flavor and make it better able to absorb more of the marinade. You can skip that step, though, and just go straight to marinating it. Have fun with the dipping sauces; I’ve served my rolls with barbecue sauce, tamari, citrus-plum sauce, hot chili sauce, various salad dressings, and (of course!) peanut butter sauce. Kids love to help with this one—just be sure to soften the wraps in the hot water for them.
Tempeh Spring Rolls with Tamari-Almond Dipping Sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 18 to 20 minutes
- 1 8-ounce square tempeh, cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- Dash sea salt and black pepper
- Drizzle tamari
- 2 carrots, julienned
- ½ bunch cilantro (large stems removed), chopped
- 7 green lettuce leaves
- 4 ounces rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- ½ teaspoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons light coconut milk
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
- Rice paper wrappers (found at Asian grocery stores)
- Warm to hot water from cooking the noodles
Preheat the oven to 385°F.
Cut each tempeh piece in half width-wise and then into about nine “matchstick” pieces. (The pieces should be big enough so that the tempeh doesn’t fall apart, but small enough so that they crisp up while cooking.)
In a baking dish, whisk together half of the maple syrup, half of the rice vinegar, and half of the sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the tempeh pieces, stir to coat, and drizzle with the remaining maple syrup, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Drizzle with tamari and bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the rice noodles according to package instructions (usually between 1 and 5 minutes). Drain water into a large bowl and set it aside. Run the noodles under cold water and set aside.
Whisk together the almond butter, tamari, lime juice, coconut milk, and water.
Create a “station” with all your ingredients so you’ll be ready to roll.
Dip a rice wrapper in the warm-hot water and let it soak for maybe 30 seconds to soften. (If kept in the water too long, it will start to dissolve—this takes a little practice.)
Place a lettuce leaf on the wrapper and fill with some of the tempeh, carrots, cilantro, and rice noodles. Roll up like a burrito and set aside. Continue until all the ingredients are used.
Serve with the tamari-almond dipping sauce and any other sauces you like.
Makes about 7 rolls