Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

It has been SO HOT here that it’s been hard to rationalize turning on the stove. A recent favorite meal is summer rolls -basically, spring rolls that are just not fried. These are so easy to make, and really tasty. I am not good about eating raw veggies, so an added bonus of this recipe is that you get a good dose of raw veggies.

We’ve added seitan and tofu to these, but usually we just make them with veggies, served with peanut sauce.

This isn’t a great picture, but I had to include it because of the 1 1/2 year old’s hand coming in for a grab!

Rice paper rolls can be found in Asian stores or Whole Foods, in the dry section (i.e. NOT the egg roll wrappers in the refrigerator section). There are LOTS in a package; one package will last a long time. All you do to prepare the wrappers is put them in hot water for a minute or so, until the wrapper is pliable and soft. They will seem delicate and fussy and first, but trust me – you can’t mess these up. The soaked wrappers are a lot hardier than they appear; even if they do tear, you are going to wrap them anyways, which will reinforce any structural defects.

For veggies, I like zucchini, squash, carrots, and maybe some scallions – all sliced nice and thin. In this round, I also added sesame seeds. Yum.

i don’t slice veggies as thinly or uniformly as my French brother-in-law. His summer rolls are a work of art.

Once your rice paper wrapper is pliable, put it on a plate, pile it with fresh veggies, and roll! The ends will stick together easily.

I like a nice peanut sauce on top. Balsamic glaze is also good on these. For peanut sauce, I just mix about x3-4 tablespoons of peanut butter, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a splash of srirachi (optional), one clove of garlic, a  little fresh ginger, a tiny bit of rice wine vinegar, and a touch of brown sugar – mix all together, then mix in about 1/4 cup hot water, adding more to get to desire consistency. This is a most basic peanut sauce recipe; if you don’t have all the ingredients, try it anyways because it is a very flexible recipe.

Another favorite quick hot-weather recipe is cubed tofu, in the cast iron skillet. It only takes  a few minutes to pan-fry pressed tofu into a delicious treat or main meal.

I am completely dependent on my tofu press. I got it a few years ago as a present for my husband; we’d been using various combinations of towels, canned goods, and plates to press tofu, and finally decided that we ate enough tofu to warrant a press. We. LOVE. It. It is probably my favorite indulgent kitchen appliance. A tofu press is not a necessity, but it sure is nice to have.

What’s your favorite indulgent (i.e. non-necessity) kitchen gadget? A close second for me might be our coffee machine, but that might be considered a true necessity for some….

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2 responses to “Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

  1. Amen to the tofu press…I recommend the EZ Tofu Press, they are only $25.00 at Amazon and includes shipping. Here is a video,its a little more infomercial but gets the point across.

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