Veggie Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

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I'm a big fan of summer rolls. Sweet Mango here in Edmonton makes some excellent vegetarian summer rolls. But since I like to try making things myself I thought I would give these a go as well. There's a fair amount of prep work involved (chopping) but not a lot of cooking. You'll need 2 cups of cooked vermicelli noodles (I used the brown rice variety), 2 carrots,  1/3 of a large seedless cucumber, 1/2 a package of firm tofu, mint leaves (enough for 2 or 3 per roll), lettuce (I used arugula), 1/2 an avocado, and rice paper. I found my rice paper in the Asian Food section of my grocery store.

Follow the package instructions for cooking the vermicelli. In a frying pan heat a tablespoon of oil (I used sunflower). Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices. Fry the tofu until lightly golden and then flip and repeat on the other side. Remove from the pan and place on a some paper towel to remove excess oil. Peel and julienne the carrots and cucumber. You can also grate them if you prefer. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the avocado from the skin and then slice lengthwise. Fill a dish with a few inches of boiling hot water. It needs to be large enough to fully immerse the rice paper. I used my wok since it was the only thing I had that was large enough. Now is a good time to set up your prep station. You need to have everything at hand so you can work quickly. Place a sheet of the rice paper in the hot water. You need it to be in the water for just long enough to become pliable. About 20 seconds. Remove the sheet from the water and place between to sheets of paper towel to remove excess moisture. Now place the sheet on your work surface. For each roll, you should leave a couple inches around the edges so that you can fold and roll these bad boys up. Start out with a small handful of vermicelli (about 1/4 cup). Layer a slice of tofu on top followed by a few pieces of cucumber and carrot. Next will be a slice of avocado, a wee bit of lettuce, and finally a few mint leaves on top. Fold in the sides of the rice paper, the top, and then roll it up. I found this video helpful on how to roll it all together.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R-ZY67NHwk?fs=1&feature=oembed] 

I ended up with eight rolls. As for the peanut sauce? This is pretty simple. In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 a cup of peanut butter,  1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 - 1/2 a cup of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice, a few dashes of sriracha or hot sauce, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a bit of fresh ground pepper.

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Happy Saturday! xx Allison