Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Vegan Rice Paper Rolls (Veg version of Thai Ahi Rolls)

Spring Rolls are a famous appetizer on Asian Menus, and they taste great too, whether they are vegetarian or filled with meat or fish. The only problem is that they are fried, and they also hold quite a bit of oil in the pastry shell. So I was very happy to be served Vegetarian Rolls which were not fried; rather, they were just wrapped using Rice Paper sheets. These tasted great, and were a whole lot healthier than the spring rolls (which I love, btw!) So if you've eaten a lot of calories for a few days and need to cut down on some, or simply seek to eat something healthy yet delicious, Rice Paper Rolls will work great for you. And the best part, it took me less than 20 mins to make all the rolls! The recipe I describe below is a Vegan Recipe, but I've suggested variations at the end of the post so you can modify it to suit your taste!

Ingredients
1 small cucumber - peeled and chopped
1 small carrot - peeled and chopped
1/2 cup lettuce - chopped finely
1/4 cup mint leaves
3 tbsp pickled ginger - finely sliced
1/4 cup chives - chopped (optional)
1/8 cup mushrooms - finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper - to taste
3 tbsp peanut powder
4-6 tbsp cooked rice
1 pkt rice paper sheets (3" x 9") (available in grocery stores, asian food aisle)

Method
Mix all the chopped vegetables, pickled ginger, rice and mushrooms together. Drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss around so they are evenly coated.

Soften rice paper sheets by soaking in warm water for approximately 30 seconds each. When soft and pliable, remove and place on a clean cloth or cutting board. Gently lay a small amount of the filling along the centre of the rice paper. Add the peanut powder on the top. Fold the sheet from one side to the other forming a neat wrap. The paper is thin, but it is easy to roll and will stick together. Apply a toothpick in the center to hold the roll, especially if you want to serve it to guests. Repeat the process for all the rolls.

There, your healthy, crunchy and delicious appetizers are ready. Serve these with Sweet and Sour Sauce on the side, or with plain tomato salsa. These work great for a tea party or a mid-evening snack! I'm sending it over to Suganya's "Vegan Ventures" event where you'll see loads of vegan recipes!

Tip: You can add Ahi Tuna to the mixture to form the authentic Ahi Rolls. This is a vegan recipe, but you can also add eggs or cheese to make a variation; anything that makes these rolls more inviting!

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