My cooking phases seem to go through two main stages: Pan-Asian and Tex Mex.
They’re the two cuisines that satisfy plenty of dieta: omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, lactose-free people, and gluten-free people can all eat Asian and Mexican meals (albeit, with some mods on occasion).
Rice paper rolls are simple and cheap to make. And depending on what you fill them with, very healthy.
- Rice paper rolls – get these from your local Chinatown grocer. Otherwise, they can easily be found in the Asian section of most chain supermarkets/grocery stores
- ½ block of firm tofu – if you’re not a fan of tofu, you could marinate chicken in the same ingredients, slice it, and pan fry it before using in the wraps. Also, if you don’t have time to marinate your tofu, you can use it plain or get pre-marinated tofu from the grocer’s.
- ½ a red peppers, or capsicums as we call them in Australia
- 2-3 small cucumbers
- ½ cup of salt Reduced tamari – soy is also fine
- 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp of lime juice
- ¼ cup of water
- 2 tbsps of tamari.
- 2 tsps of chilli oil. I buy the kind from Chinatown, with nuts and sesame seeds.
- 1 tsp of garlic. For sauces and dressings (as opposed to actual dishes), I use pre-minced stuff I keep in the fridge. You could also use ginger here instead of garlic.
- Lemon juice. If you’re like me, and heavy-handed with the tamari, a small wedge squeezed in will balance the dipping sauce out.
- You only need half a block of tofu for this recipe, so chop a block in half. You can freeze a lot of tofu, or if you think you’ll use it in the next week or so, put it in a plastic container in your fridge, covered in water.
- I slice my half block into thin “fingers” of tofu.
- Whisk your tamari or soy, your toasted sesame oil, your lime juice, and your water together.
- Put your tofu fingers into a bowl, pour the marinade over, cover, and put in your fridge. It needs to go in for at least half an hour, but tastes really good around the 1-3 hour mark.
- Slice your peppers and cucumber into similar sized “fingers” to your tofu.
- Tear off individual leaves of cilantro. Yep, this is the only pain-staking part. And you can chop it instead if you don’t mind the stems in your rice paper rolls.
- Using a large saucepan, fill it with luke-warm water and start making your rolls. Each dry rice paper roll needs to be floated in the water for about 2-3 minutes.
- Lay the wet rice paper on a clean surface (I use my wooden chopping board) and fill with your ingredients. Because I’m a little obsessed with symmetry, I don’t just throw it in. I place the tofu down, then the capsicum, then the cucumber, and press the cilantro on top.
- Fold them up! I fold the ends up over my ingredients first, then roll them up. I am terrible at wrapping birthday and Christmas presents, and this seems to translate into rice paper rolls and sushi.
- Make your dipping sauce, just whisk together the ingredients.
Makes about 4-5 large rice paper rolls.
Prep time: 10 minutes with pre-marinated tofu, 1 hour if you need to marinate your tofu.
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