Saturday, September 13, 2014

Summer Rolls

1 package of rice paper (banh trang)
Lettuce leaves
Watercress leaves
Thai basil leaves
Mint leaves
Tomato slices
Avocado slices
Carrot shreds
Cabbage shreds
Cucumber slices
Bell pepper slices
Tofu (grilled, fried, baked, dried, etc.)
Other protein like wheat gluten, seitan, or tempeh

When I make these, I usually make a huge cake box Tupperware size amount because everybody wants to eat them, but nobody wants to make them. I really don't know why though, they're easy to make and are very refreshing on a hot day. 

This is my set up: a container to hold finished rolls lined with cling wrap and wet paper towels, a big pie plate or salad bowl filled with water to soften the rice paper, a selection of my favorite veggies and fillings, a cutting board to work on, and a towel to dry my hands and wipe up water.  Making these goes easier if you have your fillings precut and set aside to use as you roll. 

Soak a sheet of paper in water until it begins to soften. When you can move it it hour cracking it, but before it gets soggy, place it on a flat surface to roll. Fill with about a small palmfull of veggies.  If you use sauce inside, drizzle between veggies or between protein and veggies so it doesn't soak through the wrapper too much. Put your filling about a third of the way down, fold the bottom edge up over the filling, fold the sides over about one inch, and roll everything over until you have what looks like a tiny burrito. Soak the next sheet while you make the roll and it should be ready when you're done. It's time to change the water when the sheets take longer to soften than the previous sheet. Place in your lined container, sprinkle with water to keep moist, and cover with more wet towels and cling wrap. Refrigerate to chill, but can be served right away.  

These can be made with anything you like. Cutting your ingredients into sticks and tearing leaves from stems helps keep the filling from poking holes into the wrapper.  They'll keep for a few days as long as they're moist. Use anything you like as a dipping sauce:  soy, sweet chili, sriracha, sambal, teriyaki, peanut sauce, etc.