yesterday was so warm. i had a vietnam flash back from the trips there last year and this year. a culture so far away. and the wonderful kitchen. we visited a place where they made rice paper wrappers and i managed to get som nice shoots of this skillful form of art. as such, i decided to use the inspiration collected when in vietnam. with loads of thanks to this couple that helped me remember the ingredients.
summer rolls for four (or rolls for dinner and salad for lunch)
one block (ca 200 g) firm tofu
oil for frying
1 kohl rabi, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1/3 of an iceberg lettuce, shredded
1/2 handfull coriander (cilantro) leaves
1/2 handfull thai basil leaves
deep fried shalotts (the original recipe says fried rice flour – but I couldn’t find any at the asian store close to home so this had to do to get the crispy texture)
ca 24 sheets of vietnamese rice paper wrappers (thinner are better in my opinion)
pinch of sugar (coconut or other)
black pepper from mill
cut the tofu in 0,5 cm slices, dry with paper and pan fry on both sides at high heat. when cool cut in thinner strips. cook noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes. drain, refresh in cold water and drain again before setting aside. the next part is optional (mostly because i forgot to do this step in the heat of the moment). you either pan fry the kohl rabi and carrots, seasoning them with a little sugar, salt and pepper until wilted – or leave them all fresh. when/if cool toss with tofu lettuce and noodles.
for rolls: dip a rice paper in warm water for a second (once! if you soak it will most probably tear..) place the paper on a flat surface and put a coriander leaf and a basil leaf face down on the bottom 3rd of the paper, wait for 20 sec. then add some of the vegetable mixture (approx 1 tbsp), a bit of shalotts/roasted rice flour and fold; bottom over the filling, the sides and then roll.
for salad: toss in a bunch of herb leaves with the vegetable mixture, pour on the dipping sauce and top with the shalotts/roasted rice flour.
3 tbsp fish sauce
juice from two limes
1 tsp rice vinegar
50-100 ml coconut sugar (or caster if you like)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2-1 red chili, finely chopped
combine in a small bowl and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. serve in small individual bowls with to dip the rolls in.
i made half into rolls and served half as a cold salad for lunch the day after. (you can only eat so many rolls at once, and leaving them in the fridge overnight is not to recommend). light but filling .