HA HA HA: summer rolls

March 5th, 2012

Here is a special treat from beloved friend, foodie and graphic designer, Christie Ha. We asked her to prepare a special dish for our new cooking feature Ha Ha Ha: In the Kitchen. We Hope to keep bringing you the sweetness every month with one of Christie’s playful dishes. Click below to see her traditional recipe :)

recipe after the jump!!


For peanut dipping sauce:

1 tbsp canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chicken stock or water

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

2 1/2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp chili paste or sriracha sauce

3/4 tsp sugar

crushed peanuts, as garnish

For rolls:

1 package vermicelli noodles, cooked, following packaged instructions.

4 TBSP canola oil, for frying

12 ounces extra firm tofu, drained

Soy sauce

Rice paper wrappers

1 large carrot, julienned

1 seedless cucumber, cut into large matchsticks

1/2 head of lettuce, rinsed and torn into medium pieces

1 bunch cilantro, rinsed (optional)

bunch of thai basil, leaves picked (optional)

Chives (optional)


To make the peanut dipping sauce:

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook garlic until lightly browned. Add to pan chicken stock or water, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, chili paste or sriracha sauce and sugar. Whisk sauce until all ingredients have been fully incorporated and has been heated through. Remove from heat and set aside. 

To make the tofu:

Cut the tofu into slabs about a 1/4 inch thick. Pat the tofu dry. Drizzle soy sauce over the tofu and wait 1 minute for the tofu to absorb the soy sauce. Repeat on opposite sides. 

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook tofu in a single layer in the pan until golden brown on both side. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. When cool enough, slice into 1/4-inch pieces, and salt to taste.

To assemble the summer rolls:

Fill a large shallow bowl with hot water. Dip rice paper wrapper in-and-out water quickly, making sure to submerge entire wrapper but not to over-soak.  Place wrapper on a flat surface and wait until it gets a little tacky. In this order, pile the ingredients on the edge of the paper closest to you: lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, any additional veggies, noodles and  3 strips tofu or more. Pick up the edge of the wrapper that is closest to you with your thumbs while keeping the pile intact with your free fingers. Tuck and roll away from you until you get to the middle. Hold the roll with one hand and take your other hand and grab the wrapper of the same side edge as your free hand and fold it over top of the roll. Repeat on opposite side. With both ends folded in, continue rolling until roll is complete. 

Scoop a couple spoonfuls of the peanut dipping sauce into a small bowl and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.

Eat and enjoy!


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