Fresh, cool and packed with nutrients, spring rolls are a great way to eat right without heating up your kitchen as we enter the dog days of summer. In this recipe from Jazmine Cafe (614 S. Carrollton Ave; 866-9301; www.jazminecafe.com) chef Linh Pham, tofu provides a healthy dose of protein and B vitamins, while avocado offers heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamins K, C and E. For extra flavor and protein, serve them with peanut-hoisin sauce.
Chef Linh Pham's Vegetable Spring Rolls
Makes 8 Spring Rolls
2 ounces rice vermicelli
8 rice wrappers (8 1/2-inch diameter)
1/2 ripe avocado, cut into eight slices
1 package firm tofu
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 head of lettuce, chopped
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Boil rice vermicelli 3 to 5 minutes, or until al dente, then drain.
Remove tofu from container and dry. Cut tofu block into eight slices. Lightly fry each side of the tofu in pan until golden, approximately 1 to 2 minutes on each side at medium heat. After tofu has cooled, cut each slice in half lengthwise.
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper at a time into the water for 1 second to soften. Lay the wrapper flat. (If the wrapper still feels hard, it will soften while you put ingredients together on top.) Lay one piece of avocado directly in the center of the rice paper lengthwise. Directly below it, lay two pieces of tofu, one beneath the other. Below the tofu, lay a small amount of noodles. Then place a small amount of lettuce and herbs below the noodles. The ingredients should be nicely arranged one beneath the other going toward the bottom end of the rice paper.
Fold each side (left and right) of the rice paper toward the middle. (If both of the sides meet and stick together in the middle when you fold them, the rolling process will be much easier). Fold the bottom edge of the rice paper over the lettuce to cover it (this should stick the bottom of the rice paper to the previously folded sides), then reach back to the folded bottom edge and roll the rest of the filled rice paper upward.
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup hot water (boiling if possible)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoon crushed peanuts
Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
Mix the hot water and peanut butter. Once the peanut butter is more liquid in consistency, vigorously whisk in hoisin sauce. It should turn a light brown color. Mix in crushed peanuts for texture. Add sriracha for a spicier taste.