Thursday, July 5, 2012

Delightful Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce, Thai House Style

 
During the summer when the heat begins to get to you, all you really want to eat is something fresh, and if it tastes good, something cold. Ever since my husband and I started hanging out back in high school just as friends, we used to eat Thai food a lot. Of course I started out with the typical intro to Thai: Pad Thai, the noodle dish with a curried peanut sauce and uniquely Thai prepared vegetables. As Billy more frequently ordered the curry dishes, I began to get curious and my palate gratefully expanded into the world of curry. I have to say that even today some eight years later, I still prefer the curry dishes over the others, or if I choose something else I feel it is a great risk I am undertaking. Although, how can you really go wrong with Thai? To me, I feel that it is one of the best cuisines your taste buds could experience.

Sooner or later we got into the habit of ordering Spring Rolls with every meal. Whether it be Thaifoon or Thai House, both Prescott-downtown Thai joints, Spring rolls were and are awesome. How I prefer to make them at home is really in style of Thai House, but I don't even know how I would/could obtain the Thaifoon style wrappers...

I served these fresh spring rolls with sesame baked tofu, rice noodles, cucumber, carrots, mint, and basil. Other options are to also include cilantro and a little slice of lettuce for crunch. I wanted a fresh meal but to make it more satisfying the peanut sauce is served warm, as is the miso soup of course.

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Time: 1 hr Serves: 4 - 6
Tofu Recipe adapted from Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn. Peanut Sauce Recipe adapted from Pasta, with contributing editor Jeni Wright.Gluten-Free | Vegetarian

Spring Rolls Ingredients:
Dried rice paper wrappers, round about 8" wide
4 cups hot water, not boiling
Block of tofu, pressed between plates and paper towels to get rid of excess moisture
3-4 tbsp soy sauce, light sodium (or soy substitute)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 cucumber, julienned
1-2 carrots, thinly sliced
12 or more mint leaves, rinsed
12 or more basil leaves, rinsed
1 cup thin rice noodles, prepared as stated by package, and drained

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp curry powder
1, 8 oz can coconut milk, full fat
2 tbsp soy sauce (or soy substitute)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice, or juice of 1/2 lemon
5 1/2 ounces peanut butter

How To:
1) Prep the tofu to draw out as much moisture as possible. Slice block into two. Slice first block into thin rectangles about 1"x 3" each. Slice half of the second block in the same fashion. Reserve the last quarter of the tofu for the miso soup if serving, if not go ahead and prep all of the tofu the same.

2) In a 9"x13" glass baking dish align all of the tofu pieces side by side giving a little room around each piece. Drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Let marinate for 15 minutes, turning pieces a couple times until all of the soy sauce is absorbed. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Pull out of the oven and let rest at room temperature until ready to use.

3) Make the peanut sauce: In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic, onion, chili powder, and curry powder. Stir until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and peanut butter. Stir until mixed, and let sauce simmer for 1/2 hour, continuing to stir occasionally so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Make sure to taste for adjustments such as more lemon juice or soy sauce.

4) Assemble work station. Have a clean surface for rolling, I prefer a cutting board. Pour hot water into a shallow bowl wide enough to fit a rice paper wrapper. Set in easy-grabbing-distance, rice paper wrappers, cooked tofu, prepped vegetables, herbs, and noodles.

5) Dip one rice paper wrapper into the hot water. Press down the edges so that it soaks evenly. After about 10 seconds it should be pliable enough to handle. Place on the cutting board stretching back out into a circle. In the middle of the wrapper, place a piece of tofu, 1-2 cucumber slices, a tiny bunch of sliced carrots, 1-2 mint leaves, 1-2 basil leaves, and pinch off a small handful of rice noodles places on the top of the rest of the ingredients. Close the wrapper on the top and bottom bringing both edges over the bundle of ingredients. Stretch one side, such as from the right side, over the bundle and tuck under the food. Drag it in a rolling motion until you achieve a tight small roll. Continue until you use up all of your ingredients and have created about 12 rolls. You may have more or less, depending on how many tofu slices you got out of your block.

Serve with Peanut Sauce and Miso Soup. I like to use instant miso soup I find at the health store. I usually like to toss a handful of tofu into the soup as it heats. Also feel free to jazz it up with sliced scallions. 

3 comments:

  1. I miss Thailand. Aside from Pad Thai, I've eaten some spring rolls with peanut sauce in Bangkok during my 2010 Thai travel.I'm thankful for the recipe you shared for I can now make my own spring rolls at home and add some other vegetable/herb for a little tweak.;)

    ReplyDelete

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