Summer is in full swing and what better way for mother earth to remind us than with a good old heat wave? With temperatures rising into the high nineties over the last few days, I’ve been avoiding the outdoors like the black plague. Because of the heat, the last thing I want to do lately is cook. Instead, I’ve been munching on things like seasonal fruits and veggies, salads and sandwiches during mealtime.
Recently I’ve been working on revamping my site (check it!) and came across one of the first recipes I ever posted on She Well, Thai Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce. Like looking back at an old diary, it’s so fun to see what life looked like back then and how much I’ve grown since beginning this blogging journey. I mean look at that sweet iPhone 3 photography!
Though seemingly complicated, these spring rolls are incredibly easy to make and are so delicious when paired with the spicy peanut sauce! In addition, don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients in this recipe. You most likely already have the ingredients for the peanut sauce in your pantry and only need a few inexpensive produce items to make the spring rolls themselves!
If you do venture to make this recipe, I highly encourage you to watch this video a few times before you get started. Chef John from Food Wishes does a great job of explaining the process and sharing his tips for rolling and storing homemade spring rolls! Enjoy!
THAI ROLLS WITH SPICY PEANUT SAUCE
Makes about 12 rolls
Time: 60 Minutes
1 package of extra-firm non-GMO tofu
8-10 Vietnamese spring rolls (find in the international section at most grocery stores)
1/2 cup cooked rice or quinoa
2 medium carrots, cut into matchstick length strips
1 cucumber, cut into matchstick length strips
1 avocado, cut into matchstick length strips
1 small bunch leafy green lettuce
A handful of cilantro
Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup creamy all natural peanut butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon coconut or brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
a few dashes of cayenne pepper or Tabasco Sauce
4-5 tablespoons of filtered water
*Note: I highly recommend watching this video before rolling your spring rolls!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut the tofu into long slices about 1/2 an inch wide. Lightly coat the tofu with olive oil, salt and pepper (make oil-free by omitting brushing the tofu with oil.) Bake the tofu for 30 minutes.
3. As the tofu bakes, cook the rice or quinoa by bringing 1 cup of water to a boil. Once boiled, add in the dry quinoa, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove the quinoa from the heat and keep covered for ten minutes.
4. Chop the carrots, cucumber, avocado into matchstick size strips and mince your desired amount of cilantro. Once all the chopping is complete, fill up a large bowl with warm water.
5. Submerge the rice paper into the water (see package for soaking directions and check out this video) Pull rice paper out of water (may still feel a bit firm which is fine) and place onto a plate lined with a damp paper towel.
6. Place 2 inches up from the bottom of the roll, one strip of each ingredient: lettuce, tofu, avocado, carrot and cucumber. Sprinkle quinoa and cilantro over the vegetables.
7. Create the spring roll by folding in the sides then rolling the rest of the rice paper up. If you are confused about how to do this check out THIS VIDEO for You Tube instructions on how to roll up your spring roll.
8. Once finished, cut the rolls in half and make the spicy peanut sauce by adding all of the ingredients into small bowl. Add water in one tablespoon at a time, allowing each tablespoon of water to be absorbed before adding more. Enjoy!
* Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To avoid the rice paper from sticking or hardening, place the spring rolls in the tupperware with damp paper towels. Refer to the end of this video for details.