Let’s be honest… there are days you just want to have peanut sauce for dinner. Well, for me at least. I could just be very odd. But peanut sauce is really delicious.
Last week I wanted peanut sauce for dinner, but I thought I ought to cut it with something, and salad rolls were my first choice. Thai salad rolls are such a beautifully easy (and virtuous) vegetarian meal option. You can clean out your veg drawer with them, and there’s almost no dirty dishes when all is said and done. You don’t even need to turn on the stove. They’re brilliant.
Start with some veggies you like; I tend to choose from carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, and lettuce. Cut them into tiny little strips. You’ll need some rice vermicelli and some rice paper… and then that’s it. Plus the peanut sauce, of course.
The trickiest part of all this is soaking the rice paper. I always use two sheets stacked on top of one another as they are rather delicate, and double-strength is always good when it comes to rice paper (and toilet paper). Don’t use just boiled water. You will scald your fingers (I speak from unfortunate experience here) and the paper will soften so quickly that it will float in and stick to itself, leaving you with some seriously ugly, blobby salad rolls. Just use very hot tap water. You should be able to stick your fingers in it without panicking and dropping your rice papers. Use a wide, shallow bowl so you can angle the papers and immerse a good portion of them at any given time, and then rotate them around until they’re nice and soft.
Thai Salad Rolls & Peanut Sauce
8 rounds rice paper, in pairs
2 small carrots, julienned
3″ cucumber, julienned
1/3 red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup lettuce, torn into chunks
1 bunch rice vermicelli, soaked in hot water until soft & rinsed
Soak the rice paper pairs in hot water until soft and pliable. Remove from the water and line one end of the papers with a few strips of each vegetable, some lettuce, and some rice vermicelli. You can fill them as much as you like, really; the rice paper is quite stretchy and will accommodate a lot of filling! Roll up by folding the edges in to seal off the veg, and then rolling up, starting at the end with the veg.
For the peanut sauce
¼ cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
¼ cup light cream or coconut milk
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ cup water
Whisk everything together and serve with the salad rolls!