Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Veggies Wrapped in Rice Paper

Veggies wrapped in rice paper is a great fun way to eat vegetables. Ian loves them! They are also a nice alternative to salad. The vegetables can be varied but I'll give the recipe for my favorite wraps. A friend of mine likes to use broccoli slaw mix to save on prep time. I find them a little too crunchy that way. Feel free to experiment.

I use zucchini and carrot as the main filler. These need to be sliced in long threads. You can use a knife to thinly julienne them. I use a julienne tool. It looks like a vegetable peeler and costs about $10. It shreds the veggies nice and thin which is important to the texture of the wraps.

The other specialty item you'll need is the rice paper wrappers.
These can sometimes be found in a regular grocery store and always in an Asian market. They are crisp and shaped like a tortilla.

Vegetable Wraps

Julienne about 4 medium zucchini and 2 carrots
Dice 3 scallions and a handful of cilantro
~6-8 rice paper wraps

Take 1 wrap and place in a pan of hot water for about 20 seconds. As soon as it is pliable, remove and place on a towel. Place a scoop of vegetables at one end and sprinkle with herbs. Then roll up like a burrito. The ends will stick together and you'll have an adorable veggie-licious snack size wrap.

Place on a plate and repeat You should get 6-8 depending on the size rice paper you are using.

These are best served fresh. IF you must make ahead I would store them at room temperature covered with a damp towel, otherwise the rice paper will dry out and not give the chewy texture that makes these so yummy with the crunchy vegetables.

Dipping Sauce
You can simply dip these in soy sauce. My favorite brand is raw, fermented Nama Shoyu. (It also happens to be the highest rated dipping soy sauce by Cook's Illustrated.) It has a nice flavor and is not too salty.

Our sauce of choice is an asian peanut style sauce that is made with almond butter. Raw or roasted almond butter works. This recipe comes from The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. I think its the #1 culinary contribution of this book, so yummy!

1 cup raw and creamy almond butter (For the budget conscious, the best place to get this is Trader Joe's)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1/2 cup water (to thin)
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons Nama Shoyu
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 jalapeƱo pepper or a dash of cayenne

Blend all ingredients at high speed until smooth.

This makes about 2 cups, so I usually halve it. This sauce is great over noodles or just as a dip for carrot sticks.