Three puns in one title. I think that’s a new record for me.
Today, with the sun shining and spring just around the corner, I am feeling like something fresh and delicious. You know those yummy salad roll appetizers that you get at Thai restaurants? Well, this my version, complete with my famous peanut sauce.
Maybe famous is an exaggeration, but it is certainly famous in one person’s eyes…
I promised to share my peanut sauce recipe with my friend Hannah about a year ago…maybe longer. Hannah and I were both English teachers in Cuenca, Ecuador where we lived for some time in 2007-2008.
Like me, Hannah is not an adrenaline junkie or particularly dare-devilish in her regular life, but when we lived in Ecuador, we lived brave. I can’t believe some of the things I did in Ecuador. I bungie-jumped, paraglided, ziplined, whitewater rafted, walked across wobbly rope bridges, and hitched rides all over the country in the back of open pick-up trucks. I even tried soup that had whole chicken feet in it (but I stuck to the broth). Perhaps one of the most adventurous, terrifying, yet gratifying experiences was a nine hour horseback ride and hike through the Andes with my friend Cor and Hannah. You can read more about this experience here, in the travel blog that I kept while in Ecuador, but here’s the experience in a nutshell:
3 beginner horse riders + 6 hours on a horse on a 2 foot wide mountain side trail, with a sharp drop of at least a hundred feet at the edge + 2 hrs of hiking down a slippery, steep trail with nothing to grab onto but mud + 1 torrential rainfall + The most amazing view in the world and a sunset on our way back.
Now that’s Nutty!
Needless to say, through all the fear, exhileration, panic, vertigo, and wonder, this was a huge bonding experience for Cor, Hannah, and I, and remains one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I say powerful partially because I just feel very lucky to have survived…
Anyway, I made this peanut sauce for one of our many potlucks in Ecuador, and Hannah went loca for it.
I think the salty richness of the sauce compliments the light freshness of the rolls just perfectly. Here it is!
Fresh Rolls with Nutty Sauce
3/4 c peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
1/4 c coconut milk
3 Tbsp tamari
3 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey or agave
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
cayenne to taste
-Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined. Served as dipping sauce for fresh rolls or over rice pasta and veggies.
Rice paper wraps
Filling (pretty much any combination of chopped fresh veggies: basil, cilantro, mint, cabbage, spinach, sugar snap peas, cooked sweet potato, avocado, grated carrot, red pepper, red onion, cucumber, sprouts, spring onion, etc) I used: 1 heaping cup of cabbage, 1 cup chopped mint leaves, 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1 red pepper, 2 spring onions, 1 small carrot, 1 avocado)
Extras (Optional; Sliced mango, cashews, shrimp, etc)
-Finely slice or grate harder veggies (cabbage, red pepper, carrots, onion, etc) and chop up greens and/or herbs. Slice avocado and/or cooked sweet potato.
-Excluding avocado and/or sweet potato, toss rest of the ingredients into a bowl.
-One at a time, immerse rice paper wrap in a pan of warm water for about 20-40 seconds, or until soft.
-Lay wrap flat, then place handful of veggie mix in centre. Place avocado and/or sweet potato slices in a line on the veggies.
-Fold both ends of the wrap over the veggies. Fold one side edge of the wrap over the veggies, then roll the rest of the wrap, so that the other side edge wraps around the roll. (See diagram below)
-Serve with peanut sauce! Impress your friends!