Picture summer in a better way than having summer rolls in the sunshine with your loved ones on a picnic, maybe at a lake. Doesn’t this sound like a dream? To me it does. But wait, where’s the catch? Oh yes, maybe to get those summer rolls. I mean, sure you could order them at your favourite Vietnamese restaurant but why not making them yourself? It is so easy and way cheaper.
If you have been a little active in the food scene of instagram you probably have already seen those. I think summer rolls have become very popular a few years ago and have become part of the whole health food industry. Besides that they are super duper tasty. So here we are, and I have made a recipe for you to make them at home. If you are not very familiar with summer rolls here is just a brief introduction!
What are summer rolls?
Summer rolls is a dish popular in Vietnam. They are also called rice paper rolls, or fresh spring rolls. It is believed though, that they originally come from China and only became popular in Vietnam. Anyway, today you can find them in most asian restaurants, even in Japanese or Thai ones.
These cute rolls look very much like spring rolls. Same size and shape. The difference is the filling and the preparation. Spring rolls are mostly filled with pork and vegetables and then deep fried. Summer rolls on the other hand are filled with vegetables, prawn, pork or tofu and oftentimes also rice vermicelli (super thin rice noodles). Also those are not deep-fried or prepared with any oil and they are served at room temperature or cold. Both, spring and summer rolls, come with a sauce on the side.
Are summer rolls healthy?
Definitely! Since the main component are vegetables, they are super healthy. Other than vegetables you often have rice vermicelli, which also are not unhealthy. They are not high in sugar or fat but also not super nutritious. For your source of protein you can use prawns, pork or tofu. They are all great sources of protein. Prawns and they also are not high in fat at all. Pork on the other hand can be high in fat, depending on which part you use.
Summer rolls kn general are not high kn fat because, unlike spring rolls they are not deep fried, and prepared with rarely little fat. The only fat may be used when preparing the protein source or in the sauce.
The sauce is the only thing you should look out for when you have those. They often are served with a sweet chili sauce or lots of soy sauce. Sweet chili sauce mostly has a lot of sugar in it and soy sauce is high in sodium. If you only get a little on the side, that’s more than fine just be aware of that!
so what’s in these summer rolls?
This is a vegetarian (actually vegan) version. I do not use rice vermicelli because I prefer them without (plus it is less work). So, as a base we have a bunch of vegetables. We use a mix of carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, lettuce and radishes. You could also add red cabbage or anything else of your preference.
To not keep it boring we also are adding some fruit. I absolutely love mango in here but papaya also works. But mango is better tbh. And of course avocado. What would a meal be without avocado? (btw, did you know that avocado is a fruit?) And of course, our source of protein, the peanut tofu. It adds a bunch of flavour and is so tasty. But still, it is not so flavourful yet, that’s why we are adding some more peanut sauce and, if you want, also some sriracha or hot sauce.
The rice paper
Rice paper is not such an easy thing to find. You will probably not find it at your regular supermarket but you can find it in pretty much and asian store. It has the form of a circle and is almost see through but a little white-ish. I get mine from Reishunger because it is super good, easy to get and they ship it right to your door!
I think that you will love this recipe for summer and I hope that you will enjoy both, making and eating it.
Summer rolls with peanut tofu
a perfectly fresh and light summer dish for those hot days!
What you will need
- 10 rice papers
- 200 g tofu
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper
- 100 g radishes
- 1/2 mango
- 100 g lettuce
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tbsp oil
For the peanut sauce:
- 150 ml light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
- 1/2 lime
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1-2 tbsp water
Combine all the ingredients for the peanut sauce. Slice the tofu into 1 cm thick and about 6-7cm long strips (or hwo ever it works best for you).
Place them in the peanut sauce and let them marinate for about 1 h or longer if possible.
Peel the carrots and either grate them or slice them into thin strips. Also slice the peper and cucumber into thin strips. Peel the mango and also cut it into bite sized pieces. Finely slice the radishes and chop up the lettuce.
Heat up a pan with the oil. Take the tofu out of the sauce and fry on each side for about 2 minutes. Set it aside.
To assemble prepare the rice paper according to package instructions. It most of the time works best when you take a kitchen towel and make it wet. Lay that on a flat surface. Then run the rice paper under water for about 3-4 seconds. Place them on the wet kitchen towl. Add a little bit of each filling and some of the remaining peanut sauce into the rice paper, rather on th elower end but not on the edge.
First, fold in the rice paper from the bottom. Then fold in the sides and roll it up, so all of the fillings are in the rice paper and it is tightly closed. This takes a little practice but after a few it will work out.
Pour the remaining sauce in a little conatiner and serve it with the summer rolls! Serve and enjoy!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière
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