Asian Fresh Rolls


350g package firm tofu, in water
3 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar (optional)
1 tsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp hot sauce of choice (optional)
1 minced garlic clove
Ground black pepper to taste
2 cups julienned carrots (or buy pre-cut “matchstick carrots”)
4 cups brown rice vermicelli noodles (also called “rice stick” – from Asian food store)
1 avocado, sliced in thin strips
5 lettuce leaves, halved
10 rice paper circles


Slice tofu into ½ inch slabs and press between two tea towels for 5 or 10 minutes. Cut into ½ inch by ½ inch by 2 inch pieces and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the marinade ingredients (up to black pepper) in the bottom of a 9 x 12 glass baking dish. Spread the tofu sticks across the bottom of the pan and let sit for 15 minutes. Flip the tofu once and let it sit for another 15 minutes (or overnight if you’re not pressed for time).

Stir up tofu sticks and marinade one last time and drain off any excess liquid into a glass dish and set aside. Bake tofu for 40 minutes, flipping once after 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Put the dry rice noodles in a large glass bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 3 minutes. Drain and let cool. When all ingredients are set out in “assembly line” fashion to put fresh rolls together, fill a flat dish or frying pan with hot but not boiling water. Hold each rice paper circle underwater for 5 seconds – it should still be a bit rigid, but floppy. Place the wet rice paper circle in the middle of a plate.

Now put a small handful of the noodles, two of the tofu sticks, a pinch of carrot sticks and a slice of avocado in the centre with a lettuce leaf, leaving a good few centimetres on all sides. Roll one edge completely over the filling, tuck under the filling and fold up the two “ends,” and continue rolling until it is all contained. Repeat with remaining circles and filling.

Cut each fresh roll on an angle in the middle and serve with filling pointing outwards. Serve with leftover marinade or your favourite dip, such as a spicy peanut sauce.