The biggest thing that I've been working on with the clean up of our diet is adding more raw elements to our meals. I made some of these summer rolls (minus the tofu) for the neighborhood block party last month with a spicy peanut sauce, and when I was at Price Chopper the other day I picked up another bag of rice sticks, I knew it was time to make a meal of it and post some tips.
These can really be done with whatever you like, but here's what you're looking at in the photos as the filling:
The key for me is the paper for rolling. Having a standard order of ingredients helps, as well. I use room temperature water, and only soak these until they are pliable. I then put the wrapper down on a clean dish towel and start filling. I start with the herbs, then the noodles, and finally the vegetables and top with the tofu. The idea is that the herbs and the tofu sort of sandwich the fillings, making it easier to roll. I first fold in the sides, then start rolling the filling up. If it doesn't look like the ends will stick, you can wet your finger and use that to moisten the finishing flap. Set aside and keep rolling!
I got about 16 rolls out of a mixing bowl of vegetables and the noodles. I wound up with a ziplock bag of vegetables left over, which went in our black-eyed pea falafel wraps last night for dinner (based on Crescent Dragonwagon's New South Falafel from The Passionate Vegetarian).
These are great with a peanut sauce, or with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili paste. I had leftover miso marinade, and we loved it so much that I made a jar to keep in the refrigerator for using with the leftovers. These will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but note that the rice paper will start to disintegrate a bit. We had these for dinner on Saturday, luck on Sunday, and polished off the last ones yesterday as a snack.
You can, of course, put shrimp in these, as well as grilled vegetables or whatever else you want or happen to have around. I have skipped the noodles before and used only vegetables, as well. I'm sure that substituting some marinated, grilled, thinly sliced portobello strips would sub in well for Thai beef salad. (Yes, I'll do that in my next summer roll post).
Angel lives in Camden, Arkansas where she writes stuff and sometimes sends it out to other people to read. She used to grade papers, but not anymore. Check out her main site to see what she's up to lately.