This recipe by Laura Williams uses Vietnamese rice paper wrappers with a variety of fresh vegetables and crispy tofu. It’s difficult to imagine a more delicious way to eat a tonne of vegetables.
It is as versatile as it is easy – add pickled chilli or kimchi for an extra kick or whichever of your favourite herbs or proteins you happen to have on hand. The possibilities are endless!
Don’t be intimidated by the long method. Most of this dish preparation involves chopping the vegetables, which can be done whilst enjoying a quick episode of Chef’s Table on Netflix. Once the preparation is done, you can enlist the help of the fam to make the rolls.
The key to not having these fall apart when you are eating them is by making sure each wrapper has enough moisture to stick when rolled up and rolling tight enough so that the filling does not fall out.
Prep time: 35 min
For the rolls:
- 15 rice paper wrappers (dehydrated)
- 1 block firm pressed tofu
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 avocados
- 2 carrot
- 1 cucumber
- 2–3 large red chillies
- 1 medium cabbage
- 1 head lettuce
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 lime
- sesame seeds, to garnish
For the peanut sauce:
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Begin by prepping all the fresh ingredients. First cut the avocados in half, remove the stone, peel away the skin and slice into long, thin strips. Drizzle over a little lime juice to prevent browning. Set aside.
- Peel the carrots, remove the top and bottom ends and grate into a bowl. Set aside.
- Cut the cucumber lengthways and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the deseeded cucumber in half and then cut each half into long, thin strips. Set aside. Repeat the same process with the red chillies by deseeding and cutting into long, thin strips.
- Finely shred the cabbage and place into a bowl. Pull the leaves off the lettuce and set these aside with the rest of the vegetables.
- To make the crispy tofu, place the cornflour into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Take the tofu block and cut into 1cm slices. Take each slice and cut into 1cm strips, place into the cornflour and toss gently to coat. Put the oil in a frying pan and warm to a gentle heat. After a minute or so, add the tofu strips and allow to crisp on one side for 1–2 minutes. Once golden, turn over the tofu and do the same on the other side. Once the tofu strips are golden and crisp, place them on a dish. You are now ready to assemble the rice paper rolls.
- In order to rehydrate the wrappers, place some warm water into a dish that’s bigger than the wrappers. To make the rolls, place one rice paper wrapper in the water for a few seconds, turn over and soak for another couple of seconds, then place onto a clean worktop.
- In the centre of the wrapper, place a mint leaf and top with a lettuce leaf. On top of this, add a little shredded cabbage, some grated carrot, a few sticks of cucumber, some chilli, two strips of tofu and a slice of avocado.
- To roll the wrapper, carefully pull the end of the wrapper nearest your body up and over the filling. Then bring the two sides of the wrapper into the centre to help to encase the filling and roll the wrapper forward until it becomes a tightly packed roll. Take a knife and cut in half. Place the rolls filling side up on a dish. Repeat this process using up the rest of the ingredients.
- To make the peanut sauce, place the peanut butter into a bowl and add a few tablespoons of recently boiled water until you achieve a looser dipping consistency. Add the juice of one lime, the soy sauce and chilli flakes, stirring to combine.
- Serve the rolls alongside the peanut sauce and a wedge of lime. Sprinkle with a few sesame seeds to garnish.
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