SUMMER ROLLS WITH MINT & TOFU

Serves 2
Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

 ½ (8.8-oz) package rice vermicelli noodles
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 medium cucumber, seeded and julienned
½ (16-oz) block extra-firm tofu, cut into matchsticks
½ head iceberg lettuce, chopped
½ green bell pepper, sliced (optional)
½ C enoki mushrooms (optional)
About 24 fresh mint leaves
About 24 fresh Thai basil leaves
8 (10-inch) sheets rice paper
2 tsp sesame seeds

Method:

 Cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package. Rinse in cold water, drain, and set side.

 Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, Sriracha, vinegar, and ginger in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Thin with water if too thick. Set the peanut sauce aside in the fridge.

Set the cucumber, tofu, lettuce, bell pepper (if using), mushrooms, mint leaves, and basil leaves in individual piles.

Fill a large bowl or saucepan—something a little bigger than 10 inches in diameter—with lukewarm water. Set up a station with a plate to make the summer rolls on, a plate to put finished rolls on, and all the ingredients within arm’s reach.

Immerse a rice paper sheet in the water for about 10 seconds and then place on the rolling plate. It will still be a little hard. This is okay—it will soften on the plate and be perfect for rolling once all the ingredients are on it. Leaving it in the water until completely soft makes it incredibly difficult to work with.

Sprinkle some of the sesame seeds onto the rice paper sheet, near one of the edges. Add a few pieces of cucumber, mint leaves, basil leaves, a piece of tofu, a smidge of the noodles, and a piece of lettuce. Add bell pepper and enoki mushrooms, if using. (For your first few, go light on the fillings, as it’ll be easier to get the technique down.) Fold the sides over the fillings and then fold the bottom flap up and over the fillings, tuck, and roll like you’re rolling a burrito. Repeat until all the rolls are done and enjoy immediately, with the dipping sauce.

Tip: Never made summer rolls before? Watch a video online of the technique first!