Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
1 lb firm OR extra firm tofu
6 cloves garlic
1 large shallot
1 small 1-inch knob of ginger
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp five spice powder
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice bran oil
Salt and pepper
to taste
1/2 package rice stick vermicelli
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic
finely minced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sambal (chili-garlic sauce)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
up to 1/2 C to thin out peanut butter
10 rice paper wrappers
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 bunch mint
leaves picked
1/2 bunch Thai basil or basil
leaves picked
1 each red cabbage
cored and shredded into 1/8 inch strips
1 each English cucumber
1 each carrot
peeled and shredded
1 lb mung bean sprouts
2 heads butter lettuce
julienned or 1 whole leaf, larger pieces may tear rice paper
toasted and crushed
For the Tofu
Cut the tofu into ½ in slabs. Gently squeeze each slab, some water will come out. Lay out on paper towels or cloth towels and pat dry.
Put all marinade ingredients in a blender. Spread the marinade to coat all the slabs of tofu and let sit for about 15-20 mins. Put the tofu on a wire rack and bake in the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes until nicely browned. After the tofu has cooled to room temp, cut into ¼ inch strips. Set aside.
For the Filling
To cook the noodles, fill a medium pot ¾ full with water and bring to a simmer. Drop in the noodles, stir briefly, and let simmer for about 8 minutes. They should be tender but not mushy. Strain and run under cool water to stop from overcooking. Let sit until well drained.
If you’ll be doing this many hours in advance, put a wet paper towel on top of them so they don’t get dry and stale.
For the Sauce
Whisk all of the ingredients together. No need to heat up.
To Assemble the Rolls
Fill a shallow bowl or baking dish with warm water. Soak the rice paper, one sheet at a time, for a few seconds and then place on a clean, flat work surface.
Place a small amount of noodles on the bottom third of the wrapper. Layer julienned vegetables, tofu and herbs horizontally
Carefully pick up the edge of the paper closest to you and roll it over the ingredients, tucking in the sides. Continue rolling while gently pulling back to keep the roll tight. Keep rolls covered with a damp towel while assembling.
To Serve
Cut the rolls in half on a bias and arrange on a platter. Serve with peanut sauce. Garnish with crushed peanuts.