Tuna and tofu spring rolls make a delicious and inexpensive starter or main course. Serve with sweet chili sauce and hot rice for a tasty meal.
There is so much that needs to be said about these tuna and tofu spring rolls recipe. First, it is possible to generously feed four people using a 180-gram can of tuna. Second, tofu is a great extender. Third, San Marino tuna fillet in water is not so very tasty. I used a can of tuna, go see the previous post, added chopped tofu and a whole lot of seasonings, used the mixture as a spring roll filling, and what do you know? The taste of tuna got lost. If you want to make these spring rolls, I suggest you try using some other brand of canned tuna — San Marino tuna fillet in water just doesn’t make the grade (and I’ll still say that even if San Marino ads randomly appear on the sidebar or below this post). That said, knowing that the spring rolls will be so much tastier if the canned tuna were better, let me share the wonders of these spring rolls.
This is a pantry dish. Meaning, you use items from the pantry. It would be more swell if you can use fresh tuna (eg., leftover grilled tuna) but for a pantry dish, let’s stick with canned tuna. Now, I’ve made tuna spring rolls before. And I’ve always added a lot of other things including small pieces of cooked potatoes and carrots because canned tuna is so lean and dry and additional textures make the filling better.
But the addition of things like potatoes and carrots also serve another purpose — they are good extenders. It’s kinda stingy to feed four people from a single can of tuna but, with the introduction of other ingredients, well, you can afford to serve more generous portions. When choosing extenders, choose ingredients that will not only make the dish taste good. As much as possible, make the extenders count as sources of good nutrition too. It is for that reason that I decided to ditch the potatoes this time and chose tofu instead.
Tofu is protein-rich, tofu is filling, tofu is practically fat free and cholesterol free. Nice, eh? But even if tofu weren’t so healthy (in today’s health fad context, anyway), I’d still love it. I am a huge fan of tofu.
Tofu, however, is neutral in taste. Since the canned tuna I used was already not very tasty, adding another neutral-tasting ingredient to it doesn’t sound very smart, does it? So, we add seasonings…
The key to a successful pantry dish is to make sure that you have good things in your pantry.
In my case, that means things like black bean garlic sauce and chili garlic sauce.
I really don’t like mentioning brands because I’d be happier if readers would take the time to compare the quality of different brands and decide for themselves but, in the case of Lee Kum Kee, I haven’t found anything comparable in quality. I’m not a Lee Kum Kee paid endorser, let’s make that clear — I don’t get paid to say that Lee Kum Kee products are greeeaaat. It’s just a personal preference.
So, yes, I added a heaping teaspoonful of chili garlic sauce…
… and black bean garlic sauce to the filling.
Another pantry secret is dried herbs. We do grow herbs but not all varieties that I use for cooking. And the supply can be hit-and-miss. One typhoon is all it takes to drown the herbs. And, until they can be replanted, well.. See, grocery-bought fresh herbs aren’t exactly cheap. And they don’t last very long in the fridge either. So, it’s cheaper and more practical to use dried herbs.
Now that I’ve written all that need be written about the ingredients, let’s proceed to the recipe.
Tuna and tofu spring rolls
- 180 grams tuna (solid, fillet or chunks but not flakes) in water or brine drained
- 100 grams tofu finely chopped and excess water squeezed out
- 1 heaping teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 heaping teaspoon black bean garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 20 pieces large spring roll wrappers
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- Flake the tuna.
- Place in a mixing bowl with the tofu, sauces, herbs, salt, pepper and one egg. Mix well.
- Beat the remaining egg in a bowl. Pour into the bowl with the filling, leaving behind about a tablespoonful or two — this is for brushing the spring roll wrappers. Mix the filling once more.
- Separate the spring roll wrappers. Place a heaping teaspoonful of filling at the center and wrap (see illustrated guide on how to wrap spring rolls which will also show you where the reserved beaten egg goes).
- Heat the oil until fine wisps of smoke appear.
- Fry the spring rolls in batches until golden brown (see guide on frying).
- Drain on paper towels.
- Cut each spring roll diagonally into two, if you like, it’s optional — I just wanted to show you how generous the amount of filling is. Serve the tuna and tofu spring rolls with sweet chili sauce.