Okay, so I totally get why these Ginger Tofu Fresh Rolls probably made you raise an eyebrow. I will admit they are a strange dish to kick-off December with. Most blogs are currently flooded with holiday cookies, cocktails, and gourmet host gifts but not this one. Oh no. Instead, this weirdo blog is posting a recipe that would be right at home in the middle of August. A recipe that would offer welcome relief from a raging heatwave. There is a reason for this bizarre content strategy. I promise.
It’s not that I’m not down with the holidays. I am down with the holidays, terrifyingly so. I love all things Christmas, the tackier the better. But I also recognize that holiday excess, while fun, can be relentless and somewhat difficult maintain.
No, this is not a “helpful” article about maintaining your waistline while still “enjoying” the holiday season. You must, for your own sanity, forget about that nonsense right now. It’s not possible without succumbing to buzzkilldom and setting people up for certain failure is just plain mean. That’s not what these Ginger Tofu Fresh Rolls are about, they’re far too fresh for that. Instead, let’s call them palette cleansers.
If you live in North America like me, you’ve most likely recently experienced a Thanksgiving. And if you have experienced a Thanksgiving, you probably ate yourself silly. Even if you’re in a part of the world that doesn’t do Thanksgiving, you’ve likely been enjoying increasingly heavy foods in order to counteract the dismal effects of colder, darker days. And now, we’re all staring down the barrel of the mother of all heavy-food-centric seasons.
Call me crazy, but I thought that maybe just maybe we could all use a break from gluttony. You know, a quick breather before throwing ourselves back into the fray. That’s why these Ginger Tofu Fresh Rolls exist. One last chance to get something green in your system before shortbread consumes your life.
Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that these Ginger Tofu Fresh Rolls are nothing but virtuous. Sure, they aren’t hard on your fitness goals, but they also taste freakin’ good. Creamy sesame noodles, seared slabs of tofu marinated within an inch of their lives, hints of bright, juicy mango; there is nothing bad about these rolls. They just happen to contain kale – it’s not their fault, it’s just how I made them.
Honestly, if you’re desperate to drag the holidays into this, I think these guys would make for an awesome appetizer. There! I made a holiday recipe, you happy? I’m just kidding. Guys, I got a lot of recipes planned that are holiday AF. Don’t you worry! Tomorrow we will embrace the wonders and many delicious applications of butter. But, today… today it’s all about these Ginger Tofu Fresh Rolls with Sesame Soba Noodles.
Embrace a little healthy before all (delicious) hell breaks loose. Whip up these Ginger Tofu Fresh Rolls today – it might be your last chance. 😉
Ginger Tofu Fresh Rolls with Sesame Soba Noodles
- 1 package firm tofu sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1-inch knob ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil
Sesame Soba Noodles
- 1 package dried soba noodles
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini heaping
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 8-12 rice paper sheets
- 1 handful fresh kale stalks removed & coarsely chopped
- 1 green mango peeled & cut into ribbons
- 1 bunch fresh Thai basil
For the Tofu
- Pat the tofu dry with paper towel and place it in a large resealable container.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Pour the marinade over the tofu and seal the container. Give the tofu a quick shake and place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- Heat a quarter-sized amount of neutral oil (such as peanut or canola) in a large skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the tofu to the skillet and sear on both sides, about 3-5 minutes a side.
- Transfer the tofu to a plate and let cool.
For the Sesame Soba Noodles
- Cook the soba noodles according to the package's directions. Drain the cooked soba noodles and rinse with cold water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat.
- Transfer the dressed noodles to the fridge to chill until ready to use.
- Both the tofu and the noodles can be made up 2 days in advance.
- Immerse a rice paper sheet in a pie plate filled with warm water. Soak until softened but with some remaining rigidity.
- Place the rice paper on a wooden cutting board and top with a piece of ginger tofu halved lengthwise and placed end to end. Add 2-3 mango ribbons, 4-5 Thai basil leaves, 3-4 pieces of kale and roughly an 1/4 of a cup of sesame noodles. Wrap the rice paper like a burrito and set aside. Repeat until the toppings are gone.
- Serve the rolls immediately or chill until ready to serve. The rolls should be eaten the day they're made.
- Serve rolls with hoisin sauce and sriracha on the side for dipping.