Typically, everyone always talks about the negative effects of social media, but a few days ago my mom shared a fascinating study with me which found that people were eating healthier and more adventurous foods because they wanted to show it off on the ‘gram. Regardless of the reason, I love that we are all expanding our culinary horizons. Maybe a few years ago my lunch choice would not have been a veggie hand roll with spicy tofu, but today it is. Maybe instagram made me do it 🙂 Or maybe it’s a culinary trend, like the kind S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water has been compiling thanks to acclaimed chefs and lifestyle influencers. Now, they have an amazing list of trends you can look up for your own city, especially if you’re in NY and LA. Spoiler alert: Asian foods are trending! You can also check out their Taste Guide and find favorite trendy restaurants and recipes. First though, read on for these veggie hand rolls with spicy tofu. They’re life changing, even if you don’t instagram about them!
How to Make Veggie Hand Rolls with Spicy Tofu
My favorite part about this meal is that you can make all of the ingredients ahead of time, and then simply compile everything together over the next few days, or whenever you need a snack. I’ll start with how I prepare the tofu, and then how to work with seaweed.
*Tofu needs to be drained prior to cooking, so to prepare your tofu first by taking it out of the packaging. Then place the block of tofu onto a paper towel lined surface. Cover with more paper towels and then top with a heavy object, like a cast-iron skillet. This will help eliminate all liquids from the tofu. I typically just buy the sprouted, extra firm and organic tofu from Trader Joe’s.
*You don’t necessarily need to prepare sushi rice for this dish, but it is easier to work with the sticky rice. I used sushi rice here, then gently mixed it with a dash of rice vinegar and sugar.
* You can use any veggies you have on hand, and you can also use fruit like mangos or strawberries—if you really want to be adventurous!
Ingredients ( makes 4 rolls)
2 large sheets of seaweed cut in half
1 cup of sushi rice
1/2 of a yellow pepper, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, thinly sliced ( I used a potato peeler to get it super thin!)
1 block of tofu, cut into long quarters
1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
a small dollop of Sriracha
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1.Set your tofu to dry. Ideally two hours ahead of time, but at least give it a half hour to drain if you’re pressed for time.
2. Prepare your rice according to directions.
3. Mix together rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and Sriracha. Once tofu is dry, cut into long cubes and coat with the rice vinegar and soy sauce mixture. Set aside.
4. Cut your prefered veggies and/or fruit
5. Place a pan on medium heat and add tofu. Let the tofu brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes before taking it off the heat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
6. Assemble your hand roll by cutting your seaweed sheet in half and placing the rice diagonally on one left edge of the seaweed. Seaweed should be shiny side down.
7. Add tofu and veggies. Now, starting at rice-covered edge, roll up your seaweed into a cone.
8. Enjoy outside with a deliciously refreshing S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.