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Fresh Broccoli and Tofu Spring Rolls with Broccoli-Cashew-Lemon-Nettle Sauce


Team Brossica Brothers wowed judges at the 2014 Top Chef Bastyr competition with their Fresh Broccoli and Tofu Spring Rolls with Broccoli-Cashew-Lemon-Nettle Sauce. The star of their meal was broccoli, aka Brassica oleracea, which is high in vitamins K and C, and packs 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in a 1-cup serving. Hats off to Team Brossica Brothers, which consisted of Brandon Testa, Paul Despres and Mason Wallace, all students in Bastyr University's Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. 


1 lb
firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1⁄2 cup
2 tsp
maple syrup
1 tsp
olive oil
2 tbsp
toasted hot pepper sesame oil
1 pkg
rice paper
1 medium
2 medium
carrot, peeled and julienned
1 bunch
1⁄2 medium
head of bibb lettuce, chopped
1 cup
Chow Mein noodles, fried
4 clove
garlic, diced
1⁄4 cup
olive oil
1 medium
lemon, juiced and zested
1⁄4 cup
1⁄2 cup
fresh nettle leaves
  to taste


For Tofu:

  1. Marinate tofu in tamari, maple syrup and 1 teaspoon olive oil for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place tofu on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake tofu for 20 minutes, then flip pieces and bake for another 20 minutes. (In last 20 minutes, keep an eye on the tofu; it can burn.)
  5. Remove tofu from oven and lightly brush with toasted hot pepper sesame oil to taste.

* TIP: If you are feeling exceptionally naughty, consider frying the tofu! Gives it a little crisp.

For Spring Roll:

  1. Remove stalk from broccoli and cut into julienne strips. Shave off 1/2 cup of the broccoli tops and reserve remaining florets for sauce.
  2. Dip rice paper in a pan of warm water and place on a flat surface.
  3. Sprinkle shaved broccoli tops in a horizontal line.
  4. Add julienned broccoli stalk and carrot strips on top of the broccoli.
  5. Add 2 strips of tofu.
  6. Add 1 basil leaf, bibb lettuce, and chow mein noodles. 
  7. Roll the spring roll by tucking the sides of the rice paper over the ingredients, then take the top edge and fold it over the ingredients, tucking them into the roll tightly. Gently tuck the ingredients and roll.

*TIP: Rice paper is hard to roll if overfilled, so play around with the right amount of ingredients and be sure to roll it tightly.

For Broccoli Sauce:

  1. Steam broccoli florets not used in the spring rolls until just slightly tender.
  2. Saute diced garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil on medium-high heat until browned. 
  3. Combine garlic and olive oil, steamed broccoli, lemon juice and zest, water, cashews, nettles and salt in a blender. Blend like crazy until smooth. Add more water to thin out the sauce.
Fresh Broccoli and Tofu Spring Rolls with Broccoli-Cashew-Lemon-Nettle Sauce


Source2014 Top Chef Bastyr winners Team Brossica Brothers: Brandon Testa, Paul Despres and Mason Wallace.
Prep time
1 1/2 hours
Cooking time
45 minutes
Total time
2 hours, 15 minutes