Spicy Tofu, Red Cabbage and Mint Fresh Spring Rolls

, from Issue #73. July, 2017
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Spicy Tofu, Red Cabbage and Mint Fresh Spring Rolls

Fresh spring rolls need not just be a summer dish. I love to switch up the ingredients to reflect winter ingredients. Red cabbage brings beautiful colour and delicious crunch.

Serves: 6


275 grams firm tofu
oil for frying
100 grams vermicelli noodles
2 cups finely shredded red cabbage (cutting on a mandoline is ideal)
1 large carrot, peeled and grated using a julienne peeler
1 red capsicum, core removed and cut into thin ribbons
1 spring onion, finely sliced
10 round rice paper sheets (plus extra in case any tear while rolling)
large handful fresh mint leaves
large handful fresh coriander leaves
Tofu marinade
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
Vegetable dressing
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1½ tablespoons tamari or fish sauce
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced


In separate bowls, whisk together the tofu marinade and the vegetable dressing (if you want to have extra dressing to use as a  dipping sauce, double the vegetable dressing recipe). Set aside until needed.

Cut the tofu lengthways into 1cm slices. Toss with the tofu marinade and leave for at least 30 minutes. Heat a glug of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Cook the tofu in batches until browned on both sides.

Cover the vermicelli noodles with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water in a sieve until cooled. Use kitchen scissors or a knife to make 3 cuts through the pile of noodles to create shorter lengths. Combine with the cabbage, carrot, capsicum and spring onion in a bowl. Pour over the vegetable dressing and toss well. Dampen a tea towel and fold in half. This will be your assembly surface. Fill a shallow bowl with warm (not hot) water.

Place a piece of rice paper in the water dish, ensuring it is fully submerged. Remove after 30 seconds and lay on the damp tea towel. Place a piece of marinated tofu in the centre. Top with a small handful of the noodle and vegetable mixture.

Sprinkle with fresh mint and coriander – be generous. Roll one of the long sides snugly over the filling. Fold over the two short sides and roll the whole thing up like a cigar. Place on a plate and repeat with the remaining filling. Avoid letting the finished rolls touch on the serving plate as they can tear. 

If not serving immediately, cover with a damp tea towel or damp paper towels. Can be made up to 12 hours in advance. Can be garnished with additional fresh herbs. Makes 10 rolls.