Fresh Thai Basil Peanut Rolls with Sweet Hot Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

Thai Basil Peanut Fresh RollsThese really are not difficult to make, they are definitely more time consuming than throwing pasta in a pot of boiling water, but they are so worth it. They are more of an “occasion” meal or made per a craving request. I was definitely craving them, so I made them for myself after yoga this morning. After already having made the Thai Basil Pesto with the Thai basil out of my garden, half the work was already done and in the fridge! I made a Peanut Sauce earlier today, which takes no more than 5 minutes so the rest of the prep is all about getting the components gathered and ready for you to roll (hehehe). What you put inside the rolls is really personal preference; my standard go to’s are:

  • grilled or smoked tofu, sliced into thin strips
  • red peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • rice vermicelli or glass noodles, cooked and drained
  • hoisin sauce or pesto and or peanut sauce- I use both!
  • fresh cilantro, fresh basil, fresh mint
  • fresh lettuce
  • crushed roasted peanuts

I use the water that I boil the noodles in to soften the rice wrappers. You can purchase the wrappers in almost every main stream market now a days, or in asian specialty stores, they are also easily found online at specialty markets.

On a clean surface or cutting board, lay your dampened rice wrapper, making sure there are no hard edges, if there are, try to moisten them with the heated water. Now you are ready to fill- my rhythm is as such:

  • lay down about one 2 teaspoons of pesto
  • then plenty of fresh herbs next to the sauce, above or below  (they look pretty showing through the transparent skin when fully rolled)
  • then lettuce
  • then tofu stacked on the lettuce
  • then peppers stacked
  • then peanut sauce gets spooned over
  • then crushed peanuts

Roll from the bottom edge up towards the top to encase the tower of yum. Fold in the sides, the rice wrapper will help you by sticking in place. Once both sides are folded in, roll up to the top to close the package. They don’t keep well, the wrapper tends to stiffen overnight, thus lending  to their name, fresh rolls. Dip into both the peanut sauce and the sweet chili lime sauce. FRICKEN YUM.

*sweet chili dipping sauce

Sweet Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

3T raw agave, or local raw honey

2T apple cider vinegar

1T lime juice

1/2t pink salt

1t red chili flakes

Vegan Fresh Rolls

Simple Grilled Tofu

This is one my most favorite ways of preparing tofu- it is even more delicious cold. Use it as is, with a side of greens and quinoa or brown rice or how I made it tonight, sliced and served over Thai Basil Pesto Soba with fresh baby Spinach. I would double up on the amount you make if you want to have any left over for the next day! You can season the oil in all kinds of ways imaginable, from curry, to lemon pepper, to super spicy jerk rub.*grilled tofu

Simple Grilled Tofu

1 pound extra firm tofu

2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced

1/2t pink salt

black pepper

Heat up the grill or grill pan.

Prepare the tofu:

Remove the tofu from the package and drain the water. Rinse and then place the tofu between to plates. Weight the tofu down in the sink with something over the top plate. Let press for at least 15 minutes to remove excess water. This makes for a “chewier” end result.

Slice the tofu in ¼-1/2” slices, an average block of tofu should yield 7-10 slices.

In a large plate, add the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the tofu slices in the oil – I use a silicone pastry brush to paint the oil on, oil and set aside.

Over high heat, place the slices on the grill or pan and close the grill or cover the pan. Let grill for about 6-8 minutes. The slices should easily flip and have gorgeous markings. Once flipped, continue to grill for another 5-6 minutes.

Salt and pepper the slices again to taste.

Serve hot or cold.