Lemongrass Spring Rolls
There’s nothing like a fresh roll and these are well worth the effort. Based on the classic Vietnamese dish, these rolls can be served as an appetizer or main course. The lemongrass marinade permeates the tofu and is well balanced by the stacks of crunchy vegetables and the creamy coconut dipping sauce.
Serves 2 to 4 (8 rolls)
½ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 lemongrass bulb, bruised and chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
14 ounces firm tofu
About 9 ounces thin rice noodles, cooked and cooled
1 small daikon radish or 6 red radishes, peeled and julienned
2 carrots, peeled and thinly shaved
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced on the bias
1 bunch fresh mint, rinsed and picked
1 bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed and picked
1 heart romaine lettuce, rinsed and separated
1, 8 ounce package whole grain rice papers
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons tamari
4 limes, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Combine 1/2 cup water with all the ingredients for the marinade, minus the tofu, in a small sauce pan and barely simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Drain and cut the tofu into ¼ inch spears and place it in a dish or shallow bowl. Strain the marinade over the tofu, set aside until ready to use.
Fill a wide deep dish with warm water. Dip each rice paper in the water to soften one at a time. Once soft and easy to handle, lay the rice paper out on your work surface and layer in the filling. Fold up the sides on the ends and roll tightly. Place on a platter and cover with a damp cloth while you make the rest.
Cut each roll in half on the diagonal and arrange on a platter with extra lettuce and herbs. Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce together and serve on the side in ramekins.