Week Three of Vegan MoFo going strong. :) I hadn't planned it this way but my Snacks and Starters theme for this week has been leaning towards healthy so far. I made Kandundes on Monday and Baked Akki Rotti Bites on Tuesday. Today is Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce.
I remember the very first time I tasted Thai Rice Paper Rolls. It was at Red Bamboo, our favourite restaurant during the time we lived at NYC. It really *really* made an impression on me. Flash forward to many years later, I got to have them once again at Loving Hut in California. These guys had brilliantly named them Summer Rolls. Fresh with crispy, cool veggies...a perfect Summer snack or meal! Ever since then I refer to them as Summer Rolls because 'Thai Rice Paper Rolls' doesn't sound half as magical.
I have to say though that a large portion the magic was in the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce that came with the Summer Rolls. Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce? It should be called Spicy Peanut *Licking* Sauce!! OMG heaven!! The ooey gooey goodness is so satisfying. *Slurp* I can just sit with a bowl full of it an and lick lick lick. No snack required. :D
Summer Rolls are very versatile and don't have any specific recipe. Just take your favourite raw vegetables, salad greens and herbs and slice them thin. Then wrap them in moistened Thai Rice Paper. You can add marinaded or baked tofu into the mix. Or crispy fruits like apples or pears. I can even picture a Summer Roll with watermelon in it! I think I'll be trying that next time.
You can toss a salad in Cashew Sour Cream and spoon that into the rolls. But remember that you must always have it with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce. Unless you're allergic to peanuts of course. In which case, just dip the rolls in Tamari and enjoy.
Here's what went into my simple Summer Rolls. They took all of 10 minutes to put together (including making the sauce). I usually add a larger variety of veggies, greens and herbs like basil and mint but this is all I had on hand today. But even with just two veggies the rolls were awesome!!
2 Thai Rice Paper Sheets (small, round ones) - I've found them in Bangalore at Nilgiris (Brigade Road), Food World Gourmet (MG Road) and Brown Tree (Church Street).
1/2 head Romaine Lettuce
Slice the carrots into thin sticks and divide them into two bunches.
Wrap each bunch inside a few lettuce leaves and keep aside.
Dip a rice paper sheet in warm water and place on a plate.
Place a lettuce wrap in the middle of the rice paper.
Roll up the wrap half way, fold in the sides and continue rolling till you have a roll that's closed on all sides.
Repeat with the second rice paper sheet.
Chill in the freezer for a few minutes.
Remove and slice into bite sized pieces (I make each roll into 3 pieces).
Meanwhile prepare the Spicy Peanut Sauce. It's a sauce made of 100% processed ingredients. :oP
1 T Peanut Butter
Splash of Dark Soy Sauce (Tamari is a far superior choice but we don't get it here in India and I finished my stock from the US *sigh*)
Splash of Tabasco or Tamarind Paste
Pinch of Red Chilli Powder (add more if using Tamarind Paste instead of Tabasco)
Pinch of Sugar/Jaggery
2-3 T Warm Water
Mix everything and whisk well with fork.
Drizzle generously over the Summer Rolls.
Update: 23rd June 2013
The ingredients for this recipe can now be purchased in India in the form of a recipe box from Global Graynz.
They have three kinds of boxes for this recipe, first with only the Rare Ingredients, second with All Packaged Ingredients and third with All Ingredients Including Fresh/Perishable Ones (pictured above).
Click on the Global Graynz button below to be taken to the Rare Ingredients recipe box.