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Rainbow Vegan Summer Rolls with Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

The most colorful, appetizing, refreshing and delicious meal you can make with minimum amount of cooking and without breaking a sweat - summer rolls, or rice paper rolls! All ingredients can be prepared raw and you can go wild with colors.


Summer rolls, or Gỏi cuốn, is a Vietnamese dish traditionally consisting of pork, prawn, vegetables, and other ingredients wrapped in Vietnamese bánh tráng, aka rice paper wrappers. Unlike spring rolls, which are wrapped in flour wrappers and then fried, summer rolls are wrapped in a translucent rice-wrapper and served cold. So naturally they're much easier and quicker to make, as well as being lighter on the stomach.


I like to wrap a variety of fresh veggies, fruits, and crispy glazed tofu strips in my summer rolls. You could simply slice the tofu and wrap but glazing and pan-frying them gives the dish much more flavor and adds a nice crunch! And if you like them to be fruity, mango, figs, and even kiwi are all good options.


Rolling the rice paper rolls can be tricky if you're new to this but once you get familiar with the special "personalities" of rice paper it'd become your go-to no-cook meal! Here're some things to look out for -

1. When wetting your rice paper, DIP, do not soak, 2-3 seconds in lukewarm water is plenty. Don't worry if it does not feel soft yet when you take it out of the water, it will continue to soften as you add fillings onto it, by the time you finish adding all the fillings it'd definitely be soft enough to roll;



2. Make sure your work surface is not too sticky or too wet, if the rice paper gets stuck to the work surface it'll break when you try to remove the rolls, but if the work surface is too wet it would be as if the rice paper is still soaking in water, a damp kitchen towel or a very smooth porcelain plate is my favorite surface for making these;

3. Roll as tight as you can, don't comprise this just because you're afraid the rice paper might break, air bubbles inside will make the whole roll wobble;

4. Worst comes to worst, the quality and strenght of rice paper vary from brand brand, if yours are just too weak, then double up! Use two layers and they will easily stick together and become one thicker, stronger wrapper.

Watch the video below to follow the steps or if you have more questions, come find me on Instagram and Tiktok.


INGREDIENTS:

5-6 rice paper
4 oz rice noodle
1 avocado, sliced
1 large mango, sliced
2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 big carrot, thinly sliced7 rice paper wrappers
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Optional coloring -
1 tsp blue spirulina powder
1 tsp pint pitaya powder

For the glazed tofu -
1 14 oz block extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon tamari/soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut amino
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon syrup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Canola oil for cooking

For the peanut butter sauce -
2 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon syrup
1 teaspoon sriracha
 

TO MAKE:

- Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions, then immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and prevent sticking, drain and set aside;
- Color half of the rice noodles with 1 teaspoon of pitaya powder and the other half with 1 teaspoon of blue spirulina;
- Prepare all the veggies and mango, set aside, save the avocado till the last, only slice it when everything else is ready to prevent oxidization;
- Prepare the tofu sticks next. Drain and press the tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices;
- In a non-stick pan, heat a drizzle of oil, pan fry the tofu slices over medium heat, 4-5 minutes for each side until both sides are golden crispy;
- Meanwhile, mix together the glaze ingredients, carefully pour the sauce mixture into the pan, stir and flip to coat all sides, turn the heat to low and let the sauce thicken, remove from heat when the tofu is evenly glazed on all sides;
- Cut into thin strips, set aside;
- Prepare a wide and shallow bowl of lukewarm water, dip a piece of rice paper wrapper in for about 2-3 seconds;
- Take the rice wrapper out, lay down the basil, vegetables, rice noodles, mango, and tofu sticks, in the bottom 1/3 section, lift up the bottom edge, fold forward to close then fold up the two sides, continue to roll up until you reach the other edge, repeat till all ingredients are used up;
- Make the dipping sauce by whisking everything together till very smooth, if it's too thick you can add a splash of coconut milk;
- Slice the summer rolls in halves, serve with the dipping sauce, enjoy!


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