Makes 12-14 fresh rolls
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
I am dreading the arrival of July, August and September. Anything above 60 degrees is too hot, and makes me long for the cold weather that the fall and winter months bring. So when the temperature in Boston reached almost 95 degrees out of the blue in early June, I began to panic about the next three four months of heat. But luckily the heatwave was random, and it subsided after about three days.
When temperatures reach the 90s, the only types of food that appeal to me are cold, clean and crisp ones, and nothing is more fresh and cooling than a spring roll packed with mint, cilantro and basil. Here I’ve combined those herbs with some bright mango, crispy carrots, cold glass noodles and fried soy curls to create a spring roll with complimentary textures and clean flavors. Any leftover filling components can be tossed with the cold noodles the next day and drizzled with any extra sauce* to make an easy and refreshing lunch or dinner.
for the sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
5 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
red pepper flakes, crushed peanuts, cilantro sprigs, shallot slices, to garnish
1 mango, cut into thin strips
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup fresh mint
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small shallot, sliced thinly (optional)
2 cups cooked glass noodles, or any thin asian noodle
12-14 spring roll wrappers
fresh lime, to garnish
First, make your sauce by bringing the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Then add in the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Next, prepare your soy curls by placing them into a small saucepan with the broth and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and allow the soy curls to rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.
Drain the soy curls in a fine mesh sieve, and allow them to cool a bit. Then press down on them in the sieve to remove some of the moisture. Set aside.
If you don’t want to deep-fry the soy curls, just place them into a hot skillet with a little oil, seasoning with a little salt as needed until they are slightly browned. Set aside and allow to cool.
If you want to deep-fry the soy curls, place a few inches of oil into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat for about seven minutes. While you are waiting for your oil to heat, place the cornstarch into a shallow, wide bowl. Whisk the Ener-G and water in a separate shallow, wide bowl. Test your oil by throwing a pinch of cornstarch into the oil. if it sizzle immediately, you are ready to fry.
Place about a third of the soy curls into the Ener-G mixture. Give them a little squeeze to remove some of the moisture, then coat them in the cornstarch. Drop them into the hot oil and allow to fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove them with a skimmer and place on paper towels to drain. Season immediately with a little salt. Repeat the process until all of the soy curls are fried. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Next, prepare your noodles according to package instructions. If you are using glass noodles, just measure out about 2 cups of them once cooked. I stretch them into a long shape on a cutting board, then cut the amount I want with scissors as I go along.
Now you are ready to assemble your spring rolls. There are several ways to roll them—I used this method (steps 4-8) for this recipe.
Soften your spring rolls (only one at a time) by placing them on the palms of your hands and running them under some warm water for about 5 seconds. Then, place on a cutting board to roll them.
Place some noodles (about the size of your index finger) at 9 o’clock on the softened spring roll. Then place a couple of mango slices on one side and shredded carrots and shallot slices on the other. Then place a few soy curls on top of the noodles, then top with a few cilantro sprigs and basil and mint leaves. Roll them up and repeat until all of the rolls are assembled.
Chill or serve immediately with the cooled vinegar sauce.