Nothing says summer like fresh rice wraps.
Nothing SCREAMS summer like fresh rice wraps.
They’re cool, simultaneously light and filling, and beautifully colourful, which makes food photography a breeze. Yes sir, rice wraps are terrific things.
Lately I’ve noticed that my blog has been getting a lot of visits because of people pinning and re-pinning the fresh avocado spring rolls I made almost a year ago to this date. Apparently avocado, rice paper and a pretty wooden cutting board = Pinterest porn. I should never have let that cutting board go. Damn.
Anyways, inspired by this influx of visitors and wanting to fuel the fire even more, I decided to revive the rice wrap. I came upon Alison’s delicious looking vegan summer rolls recipe on Tastespotting, and decided to use it as a starting point for one of my own.
A year of chopping later, and this happened. It’s like one of those colour palette wheels they use on home interior shows. Yes, I’d like my accent wall to be radish red and I’ll take the throw pillows in cucumber green, please.
I decided to make Rice Wraps Round 2.0 pad thai themed because (a) let’s face it, you can never have too much pad thai, and (b) I have not had nearly enough pad thai in my life since I stopped visiting Old Ottawa South’s Siam Kitchen in second year. There was also mango tossed in there for good measure. It was like a thai-mango salad and pad thai all in one. Does it get much better than that, people?
The assembly of these rice wraps reminded me of a messier taco night; seconds of rice paper softening followed by attempts to rapidly stuff the resulting circular membrane with as much vegetables as it would hold.
Such a terrific Sunday night almost-summer meal. An explosion of colour and taste. And really great peanut sauce. Holy.
PS: switch up the chicken for tofu and you’ve got yourself a vegetarian meal!
Recipe: Pad-Thai inspired rice wraps with peanut garlic sauce
Adapted from Culinary Adventures in the Kitchen
– 9 sheets of rice paper
– 1 large carrot, julienned
– 1/3 large English cucumber, julienned
– 1/2 red pepper, julienned
– 3 radishes, thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
– 2 green onions, sliced on a bias
– 1/2 mango, julienned
– 1/3 cup mint leaves, torn
– 1/3 cup cilantro or parsley, torn
– 3/4 cup cooked vermicelli noodles
– 1 large chicken breast, cooked and diced
Put vermicelli noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for about five minutes until soft. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Soak your rice papers one at a time. I fill a 10-inch pie plate three quarters of the way full with warm water. Rice paper generally has a pattern on it (see picture above) that will generally begin to disappear when it is sufficiently soaked. Be careful not to over soak, though, since they will keep getting softer even after they’ve been removed from water. Generally soaking takes about 15 seconds.
Put the soaked rice paper on a plate/cutting board. Carefully pile it with all your vegetables, herbs, chicken and vermicelli noodles. Top with a bit of peanut garlic sauce (see recipe below). Fold up the sides like you’re wrapping a present. Set aside and repeat with the other rice papers.
Peanut garlic sauce
– 6 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
– 6 tbsp vegetable oil
– 2 1/2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
– 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 1/2 tbsp packed brown sugar
– 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
Makes 9 rice wraps.