I started experimenting with salad rolls a couple summers ago, when a co-worker gave me a package of dried rice paper. It wasn’t until recently, after a visit to a great Vietnamese Vegetarian restaurant, that I really started implementing these rolls into my weekly menus. What’s great is there are endless variations of these rolls. Sweet, savoury, spicy, you name it. Here is a recipe for one of my favourite rolls. These make great appetizers, as well as main courses. Make them dense, make them light – it’s all up to you! – let’s get rolling!
A little about the ingredients:
To use, simply soak in warm water for 30 seconds (or until desired consistency), place on a flat surface, fill with your ingredients, and roll.
Traditional salad rolls are filled with julienned-style veggies. For best results, cut all the roll ingredients about 3 1/2 inches long. Cut crunchy ingredients, like carrots or bell peppers, the thinnest; slice softer ones, like cucumbers, thicker.
Another option, as I’ve done here, is throw the harder vegetables, like carrot, into the salad shooter for a finer presentation. Ingredients can be placed in layers, and when you roll the rice paper, the presentation is flawless.
12 8-inch round rice paper wrappers
3 cups vermicelli noodles cooked & chopped
12 leaves romaine lettuce, thick ribs removed
1 package smoked tofu, cut into 24 strips
¼ cucumber, cut into thin strips
2 carrots, chopped fine or put through salad shooter
12 white mushrooms, chopped and sautéed (or raw if preferred)
1 semi-firm avocado cut into thin strips
¾ cup salted peanuts, chopped or halved
½ cup cilantro leaves
½ cup mint leaves plus sprigs for garnish
lime wedges for garnish and or drizzle
Fill bowl with hot water; immerse wrappers, 2 at a time, until soft, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Stack wrappers in 2 piles with damp paper towels between the wrappers to avoid them from sticking together.
Lay lettuce leaf on lower third of rice wrapper, lining up both edges. Arrange 3 or 4 strips each of tofu, cucumber, carrot, mushroom and avocado in centre of lettuce in layers; top with sprinkling of cilantro, mint and chopped peanuts. Starting at closest edge, lift edges of wrapper and lettuce up and over filling, then fold in sides. Roll into tight cylinder like a burrito.
Place roll, seam side down, on platter, and cover with a damp towel. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Garnish with lime wedges, and serve with Spicy Peanut Sauce.
I like to cut them in half, open-side-up
½ cup soft tofu
⅓ cup water
¼ cup peanut butter
3 Tbs. white miso
1 ½ Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. chopped fresh ginger
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
½ tsp. dried chili flakes
Purée all ingredients, except lime juice and chili flakes in processor until smooth. Pour into small pitcher or bowl; stir in lime juice and crushed red pepper.
Recipe Adapted from www.vegetariantimes.com