Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I fell in love with making these in Portland after seeing a cooking demo with the amazing Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Basically, any ingredients can be added but the foundation should be something crunchy (nuts, seeds, etc.), something chewy or soft (tofu, potato, avocado, etc.), and anything else that sounds good and will fit in the papers!
For this batch, I used smoked tofu (I baked it in the oven for a few minutes to make it hot), sliced avocado and red pepper, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and sprinkles of vegan parm. I normally like to throw in baby spinach, but was out. I have found that after making these at home, I never order them from restaurants anymore. Restaurants simply add carrots, lettuce, and mint. In my world of adventurous Spring Roll creation, that is just boring! The sauce is super simple and goes well with any combination of ingredients I have ever tried. I also like to add Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce to mine to give it a little bite.
The wrapper is Rice Paper (made from tapioca flour, not rice!). The key is to get a large bowl filled with hot water(hot but not too hot that you can't stick your hands in!). Drop a rice paper in and let it get all soft and gel-like. Isa compared them to jelly fish and the resemblance is definitely there. When it is completely soft, take it out, shake the extra water off, and lay it flat. Put the ingredients in the center of the paper but don't overfill!!! Fold two parallel sides together and roll from the other side. I usually have to make about 6 of them to start because they are so delicious and if you just make one at a time, you will be annoyed with yourself! If you are making these for guests, it is fun to set up "buffet style" and let people make their own. Lots of fun!