Salad Rolls with Dipping Sauce

img_9984I posted about salad rolls when my sister and I first started writing this blog.  But it’s a recipe that bears repeating.  For one thing, I didn’t own a good camera when I wrote the first post and instructional photos are kind of helpful for the rolling technique.  Also,  I recently made salad rolls with the young chefs of the Brooklyn Apple Academy Run a Luncheonette Cooking Camp and the version that they created was delicious!  I’ll include both my standard recipe with shrimp and the far more elaborate vegetarian version created by the boys.  I brought in a huge selection of vegetables for the boys to choose from, fully expecting many of them to be nixed by one kid or another who didn’t like this or that.  However, these young men are culinary adventurers who fly in the face of the assumption that kids don’t like vegetables.  They included every ingredient that I offered and pronounced the final product to be delicious!  If you are going to go the elaborate route, it’s helpful to have a bunch of friends who can form an assembly line, like so…


If you would like to see that assembly line in action, which I highly recommend, follow this link!


  • carrots, peeled and shredded
  • jicama, peeled and shredded
  • cilantro leaves, washed, dried and picked off of the stems
  • mint leaves ,washed, dried and picked off of the stems
  • Basil leaves (Thai basil if you can get it), washed, dried and picked off of the stems
  • Cooked, peeled shrimp
  • Rice paper wrappers (go for the large ones if you can find them!)
  1.  Heat some water in a kettle.  While it’s heating, set up your work area with a large shallow dish for wetting the rice wrappers, a large dry work surface such as a cutting board, a container to receive finished rolls, and all of your prepped fillings.img_9933
  2. Pour some hot water into the shallow dish and keep the kettle handy to add more hot water as needed.  Place a rice wrapper in the water.  Try to get the entire thing wet right away by swishing it around.  If some parts remain dry, they will curl and crack after a few seconds.  img_9934
  3. When the rice wrapper is as soft as fabric, carefully lay it onto the work surface.  Imagine that your wrapper is divided into five columns. Pile a little bit of each ingredient along the second column of the wrapper.img_9964
  4. Fold the edge of the wrapper over the filing and then roll it one time. The rolled portion should be right in the middle of the wrapper now.
  5. fold the short ends up on either side.img_9971
  6. Continue rolling until it is totally closed.
  7. Eat it with some dipping sauce (recipe below)!



FOR THE TOFUimg_8591

Slice a few cakes of fresh, firm tofu no more than 1/2 inch thick.  Lay them out on a few layers of paper towel.  Put more paper towels on top and then weigh them to press the excess liquid out.  Meanwhile, improvise a marinade.

to improvise a tofu marinade

Choose an oil.  Some options are…

  • toasted sesame oil (highly recommended)
  • mild oil such as sunflower or canola
  • olive oil

Choose a salty Asian condiment.  Follow this link for info about gluten-free Asian pantry items.  Some options are…

  • tamari
  • soy bean paste
  • fish sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • miso

Add something sweet (unless you used oyster sauce, which is already sweet).  Some good options are…

  • honey
  • sugar
  • agave

Add some flavorings and seasonings.  Some good options are…

  • minced fresh garlic
  • minced or grated fresh ginger
  • minced fresh lemon grass
  • minced scallions
  • lime leaves
  • star anise pods
  • Sichuan pepper
  • Chinese five spice
  • chili paste or sriracha sauce
  • crushed galangal root

Combine your ingredients, tasting and adjusting until you have something that you like.  You can start with about 2 Tablespoons of oil, 1/4 cup of the salty condiment, 1 Tablespoon of sweetener (if needed) and little pinches of the seasonings.

Add your dried tofu to your marinade and let it sit for at least 3 hours and up to overnight in the fridge.  You can reuse your marinade once.  Remove the tofu from the marinade and bake them on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until they are browned and firm.  Meanwhile, you can prep all of the other ingredients.


Choose any or all of the following fillings…

  • lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • raw red cabbage shredded, washed and dried
  • avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
  • cucumbers, peeled (or not depending on how waxy they are), seeded and cut into long spears
  • carrots washed and shredded
  • jicama peeled and shredded
  • bean sprouts
  • red or yellow bell peppers washed, seeded and cut in to long strips
  • mint washed, dried and pulled off of the stem
  • basil (Thai if you can get it) washed, dried and pulled off of the stem
  • cilantro washed, dried and pulled off of the stem
  • bean thread noodles soaked in hot water until soft, then run under cold water and drained
  • baked marinated tofu (recipe above).

Follow the same instructions as the simple recipe above.  The larger size of rice wrapper is totally worth seeking out for these mondo sized salad roles!


Choose something nutty.  Some good options are…

  • chopped roasted peanuts
  • peanut butter
  • almond butter
  • cashew butter
  • black sesame powder
  • tahini

Choose a salty Asian Condiment.  Some good options are…

  • hoisin sauce (my favorite, although very hard to find gluten-free)
  • tamari
  • miso

Add a bit of sour.  Some good options are…

  • lime juice
  • rice wine vinegar

Add a bit of sweet (unless you used Hoisin, which is already sweet).  Some options are…

  • sugar
  • honey
  • sweet Thai chili sauce
  • ketchup

Add some flavorings and seasonings.  Some good options are…

  • minced fresh garlic
  • minced or grated fresh ginger
  • minced onion or shallots
  • Chinese five spice
  • chili paste or Sriracha sauce

Combine your ingredients, tasting and adjusting until you have something that you like.  You can start with about 1 cup of the nutty stuff and add the other ingredients in splashes and pinches until you get something that you like.  You ay need to add some hot water to achieve the desired consistancy.





3 Comments Add yours

  1. Glenda says:

    I recognize that plate! Grandma Rose would be proud.

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