I may be channeling Spring with these Salad Rolls, but I’m definitely eating them like it’s the dead of winter.I could polish off this platter – yum. These Vietnamese inspired salad rolls are packing many of my favourites…cucumber, red leafy lettuce, purple cabbage, carrot, green onions, jalapeño – AND vermicelli rice noodles tossed in a little sesame oil + sea salt. Some rolls are sporting Crispy Tofu, while others had their rice noodles drenched in my PeanutGinger Dressing – perfect when on the go. A good Peanut Sauce as a dipper is a MUST too. At home, these salad rolls are an affordable meal as they’re made up of mostly fresh produce – very reasonable.
I highly recommend purchasing the ‘large’ rice paper wraps, not the smaller ones (like I had in this post), as the larger wraps are MUCH easier to roll tightly. You’ll also have more support from that extra ‘roll’ incase any of the goodies inside decide to poke through.
Here are a few tips that helped me out when making my rolls…
1. Prep all of your ingredients first. This will make the assembly line run smoothly. What I’ve found to work best…cucumber thinly sliced, lettuce finely shopped or whole leaf, julienned carrots & peppers, green onion spears, tofu strips, etc. Whatever you feel will work best for you.
2. Don’t soak your rice paper (wrap) for too long. Follow the package instructions – mine said something along the lines of “seconds”. I literally dipped the rice paper in warm water a few times, and then transferred it to a cutting board while still somewhat firm. The rice paper continued to soften within a matter of seconds after lying on the board. I found that if I kept the rice paper in the warm water until it was pliable (very soft), it would be very difficult to lie it flat as it would keep sticking to itself. If that happens, just dip it in the water again.
3. When building your wrap, start at the end closest to you – I left about 1-1&1/2inches. I placed a layer of cucumbers down first to help protect any sharp/firm items (carrots) from poking through the rice paper once rolled. My layer order was thinly sliced cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, carrot, green onion, jalapeños, tofu, and lastly, noodles.
4. Once you’ve layered in your filling, carefully fold in each side of your rice wrap, use your fingers to hold everything in place, and then lift the side closest to you (end closest to you) tucking and rolling as you go. I also found folding over one side first, then the end closest to me, and then the other side also worked well. The idea is to get a nice tight wrap. Watch out for those noodles – they can be slippery!
5. For best results, eat the same day – especially if using the large rice paper wraps. I’ve eaten day-old salad rolls before, and let me tell you, it’s somewhat disappointing. The rice paper will harden (dry out) by the next day, or at least it does for me. I’ve tried wrapping them in plastic wrap, which helps somewhat – but there are still spots that get very chewy and/or hard.
A fun and affordable meal to prep + share. These salad rolls are SUPER tasty (& beautiful) – and that Peanut Sauce…forget about it! ALL mine. One of my favourite, guilt free meals that I tend to overindulge in. You can never have too much of a good thing! OR can you?! Only one way to find out…
- 3/4 cup natural chunky peanut butter
- 1/2 cup water, room temp.
- 2 tsp miso paste *organic – genmai
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 2 tsp tamari *gluten free
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1&1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp roasted sesame oil
- pinch cayenne *optional
- 3 large or 6 small rice paper wraps
- 175 g organic firm tofu – pressed & patted dry
- organic corn starch (about 3tbsp to 1/4cup)
- sea salt + pepper
- grapeseed oil
- healthy handful brown or white vermicelli rice noodles – dry
- sesame oil
- 1/2 cup english cucumber, thinly sliced
- half head red leafy lettuce, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup carrot, peeled & julienned (cut into thin strips)
- 1/2 cup red pepper, julienned
- 3-6 green onions, cut into strips
- 1 jalapeno, sliced & seeded
- fresh cilantro
In a small bowl or jar, add the peanut butter, water, and miso. Stir well to combine.
Add the remaining ingredients and shake well if using a jar (with a lid on), or stir/whisk well if using a small bowl.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. Best if used within 2-3days.
Cut the dry tofu into 3/4inch(h), 3&1/2inch(l), 1/3inch(w) strips, or whatever size you prefer.
Place the tofu strips onto a plate, and sprinkle over enough cornstarch to coat – BUT don’t toss yet. Next, sprinkle over about 1/2tsp sea salt and 1/4tsp pepper. NOW gently toss to coat. I’m fairly informal about this process, but it turns out perfectly every time.
Heat a medium/large skillet over med. heat. Add a healthy drizzle of grapeseed oil to the skillet and bring it up to temp. Carefully lay the coated tofu strips into the skillet. Cook on each side of the tofu strips, flipping once golden-brown.
Remove the strips, and place them onto a cooling rack – spaced apart.
Prepare the vermicelli rice noodles as per package instructions. Once cooked, pour the noodles into a strainer and run them under cold water to cool quickly. Once cool, gently squeeze out any excess water from the noodles. Still in the strainer, drizzle over a little sesame oil and sea salt. Toss to coat. Leave the noodles in the strainer until ready to use.
Prepare the vegetables. Have a clean cutting board ready.
Once you’re ready to roll…fill a large skillet with warm water and place it over low heat. Take a rice paper wrap, dip it into the warm water a few times, and then lay it *flat onto the cutting board. The wrap should continue softening while on the board.
When filling the roll, I started at one end of the wrap with the thinly sliced cucumber – then lettuce, cilantro, cabbage, carrot, red pepper, green onion, jalapeño, tofu, and lastly, the noodles.
When rolling, first fold in one side, then gently fold over the short end, and lastly fold in the other side before rolling over. Use your fingers to hold everything in place, and keep things tight as you roll. If you feel you need to start over, no worries! Just unwrap and try again – it took me a couple rolls before I got my rhythm.
Repeat until all the ingredients have been used up. Prep any additional ingredients as needed.
Serve immediately with a side of peanut sauce and/or soy sauce.
~ When I have fresh ginger on hand, I’ll add up to 1tbsp finely grated to the peanut sauce for a little variation.
~ These salad rolls are best when eaten shortly after making as the rice paper tends to dry out over time.