Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
In this vegetarian Vietnamese appetizer, cellophane noodles, fried tofu, sauteed shallots, crunchy lettuce, carrots, and jicama are topped by a sprinkling of herbs and rolled in diaphanous rice paper rounds.
- Yield: Makes 16
Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2006
For the assembly
- 16 round (8-inch) rice-paper wrappers
- 2 small heads Boston or butter lettuce, leaves separated and ribs removed
- 2/3 cup tightly packed Thai basil leaves
- 2/3 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
- Peanut Dipping Sauce for Summer Rolls
For the filling
- 2 ounces bean threads
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 6 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
- 2 packages (11 ounces each) fried tofu, cut into 2-inch-long, 1/4-inch-thick sticks
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 ounce jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)
- 12 ounces large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Make the filling: Soak bean threads in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, and rinse in cold water. Cut into 2-inch lengths.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl; set aside.
Add tofu to skillet; cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce; cook 1 minute more. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet; heat until hot but not smoking. Add jicama and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add bean threads and remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl with tofu; stir to combine.
To assemble each roll, soak a wrapper in a bowl of warm water until softened, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a work surface. Lay 1 or 2 lettuce leaves lengthwise at 1 end of wrapper. Spread 1/2 cup tofu mixture over lettuce; sprinkle with shallots. Top with basil and cilantro. Fold ends in and roll tightly to enclose filling. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve. Halve rolls. Serve with dipping sauce.