Summer cooking

On Monday, Shannon and I invited my old friend Ann and partner Rim for dinner. They brought two types of Syrian cheese, one which comes twisted up in a skein like wool, and one which comes in a round block. To my surprise, they barbequed the latter. Since it was yet another hot, muggy day, Shannon and I prepared fresh salad rolls and a blueberry pie. We thought the recipe was a keeper, so from the same cookbook as the pad thai, I bring you:

Mango Salad Rolls

Marinated tofu

  • 1 lb firm tofu
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ⅔ [two-thirds] cup vegetable stock or water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp coarsely cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup Thai basil, chopped

Slice tofu into strips, place in boiling water for five minutes, then drain. Combine all remaining ingredients except basil and heat for five minutes. Add basil and pour over tofu, marinating for at least an hour.

Chili lime dip

Whisk together the following:

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sambal oelek (or Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce)

Salad rolls

  • tofu, prepared as above
  • 1 mango
  • ½ jícama (or water chestnuts)
  • 4 cups pea or bean shoots
  • Thai basil
  • 1 package rice paper wrappers (about 8½” diameter)

Peel the mango and cut into long, thin slices from around the pit. Julienne the jicama and store in cool water. Stem the basil and tear leaves into small pieces. Set all ingredients aside in separate bowls lined up on your workspace.

To roll, place a clean, dry kitchen towel on your work space. Fill a large bowl with very hot water and set it beside you. Submerge a rice paper round into the hot water and let it soak until soft and pliable (the hotter the water, the shorter the required soaking time). Gently lift the wrap out of the water and lay it out on the towel. Place a small horizontal mound of sprouts in the centre of the lower half of the wrapper. Top with a few jicama batons and a slice of mango. Arrange tofu on top and sprinkle with basil leaves.

Fold the sides of the wrapper inward over the filling. Life the lower edge of the wrapper up and over and roll up away from you to form a log-shaped package. Place the salad roll on a large plate and cover with a dampened kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining ingredients, keeping all the rolls under the damp towel. Serve with chili lime dip.

Alas, the leftovers are long gone. Back to the kitchen for me…

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