Author Notes: In this spring roll recipe, asparagus, carrots, daikon and five-spice tofu take the place of the more typical rice vermicelli and shrimp filling. These rolls are light and healthy with a prominent crunch and the flavors are bright and vibrant. The real star of this roll show, though, is (drum roll, please!) the zingy nut sauce. - eva katz
Makes 10 rolls
For the Super-Sonic Nut Sauce:
- 1 cup Trader Joe's Lime & Chile Mixed Nuts
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
For the Spring Rolls:
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1/4 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 1/2 inch pieces
- 10 Boston lettuce leaves
- 1/4 of a daikon radish, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks (about 1 cup)
- 1 carrot peeled, cut into thin matchsticks (about 1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic chives, plus extra for garnish
- 10 rice paper wrappers
- 6 ounces (1/2 of a package) of five-spice tofu, cut into ½ x ¼ inch pieces
- 1/4 cup each of mint and cilantro leaves
- For the super-sonic nut sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- For the vegetable filling: Bring a medium sauce pan filled with water to boil. Fill a small bowl halfway with ice and water. Add asparagus and 1 teaspoon salt to boiling water and cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness of asparagus). Drain asparagus and transfer to ice bath. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
- Whisk ginger, lime juice, vinegar and fish sauce together in medium bowl. Toss in asparagus, carrots, daikon and garlic chives. Set aside.
- For the vegetable rolls: Fill a round cake pan halfway with hot water. Place one wrapper in water. Flip the wrapper over a couple of times until just softened, about 5 to 10 seconds. (Resist over-soaking. The wrappers will continue to soften even when they are out of the water.) Use both hands to pull the wrapper out of the water and lay on a dry surface.
- Lay lettuce leaf in center of wrapper.Top with the vegetable filling, followed by two pieces of tofu. Spoon a small portion of sauce on the tofu and top with a few mint and cilantro leaves. Start by rolling the side edges of the wrapper over the filling, then fold in the top and bottom toward the center and continue rolling until the wrapper until it closes. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Slice the rolls in half and serve with remaining nut sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Picnic Recipe