Zen Salad Roll with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Now that we’re hitting 30 degree weather, we try to skip the oven in favour of preparing raw meals. Raw meals keep the house cool, and satisfy the craving for cool, crisp foods that our bodies get after a long day in the sun. What’s “zen” about these rolls is that although there’s many ingredients inside, the flavours balance each other harmoniously. Most grocery stores carry rice paper wrappers; In Kelowna I’ve seen them at Nesters, Extra Foods or the Oriental Supermarket.
Step 1: Prepare Wraps:
Ingredients: 1 pack Spring Roll Wrappers, 1/2 cup crushed Cashews (or any nut), 1 bunch Carrots shredded, 1 bunch spring onions (green tops only) cut into 1.5″ pieces, 3-4 Radishes cut into 1.5″ pieces, 1 container Sprouts (any, 3/4 cup Cilantro,3/4 cup Basil chopped, 1/2 tbs torn mint (optional), 1 cup diced Tofu (or cooked shrimp, pork or chicken), a pinch Salt & pepper.
Chop all ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring a wide pot to boil. Remove from heat, and use tongs to submerge rice wrappers in water for 15 seconds each. This may not seem long enough, but you want to leave the wrapper a little stiff because the moisture from the veggie mixture will also soften them and if they’re too fragile they’re hard to work with. Fill each wrapper with 2 spoonfuls of mixture. Do not overfill. Fold in corners and roll up into a tight bundle. If you’re going to serve them later, put them on a parchment or wax paper lined plate to prevent sticking, and refrigerate. Serve with dipping sauce.
Step 2: Prepare Sauce:
Ingredients: 2 teaspoons Sesame Oil, 1 tbs Vegetable oil, 3/4 cup Bulb from Spring Onion chopped fine, 1 tablespoon Garlic Scape (or 2 cloves) diced fine, 3 tablespoon red Chili Flakes (use less or more according to your spice level), 1/4 Cup Water, 1 tablespoon Soya Sauce, 2 teaspoons Rice Vinegar, 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter, 2 teaspoons Tomato Paste/Ketchup, 2 tablespoons Honey or Molasses, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper.
Heat oils in a small sauce pan (medium heat). Cook onions, garlic and red pepper flakes (1.5 min). Add liquid ingredients. Stir in peanut butter, tomato paste and honey and blend until smooth (5 mins). Season with pepper. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro and crushed raw cashews.
Tip: Make this recipe even simpler by skipping the rice wraps, and using cooked rice vermicelli (glass) noodles. Cook noodles according to package instructions, then toss well with veggies, your protein of choice and sauce, and it becomes a quick to go salad.