Saturday, 30 June 2012

Nem To-hu Sap (Cambodian Vegetarian Summer Rolls)

I think I love summer rolls even more than I like spring rolls. I think it's the freshness and also the fact that you don't have to cook them - which saves time! I'm sure other factors include that they're not dripping with oil and that I don't have to buy a litre of oil in order to cook them.

These Cambodian Vegetable Summer Rolls are the last recipe I have for this month from Cambodia. I've had a pretty busy month this month (organising my trip overseas!) so actually haven't had the chance to blog all the recipes from Cambodia that I wanted to. That means that I might sneakily add a few more later in the year and link them back so that I can share the rest of them with you!

Cambodia has been such a delicious country that there are so many more wonderful things I could have tried! It was hard to cut it down to just the 10 or so dishes that I made, most of which made it up onto the blog. The last is these lovely and simple summer rolls with sweet soy dipping sauce. I hope you've enjoyed Cambodian Month as much as I have (it has inspired me to start thinking about travelling there!).

300g hard tofu, drained and cut into strips (about the size and shape of carrot sticks)
1 x 2cm knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 packet of rice paper rolls
1 1/2 cups cooked rice vermicelli noodles (cook according to the directions on the back of the packet)
2 cucumbers, cut into strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
Approx 2 cups shredded cos lettuce

To Make
1. Place slices of tofu with the ginger, garlic, soy and sesame oil and leave to marinate for about an hour. Mixing or shaking every so often so that they all get nice and tasty.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan or skillet and fry the tofu on each side for 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned and crispy. You can pour the marinade into the pan at the end if you like to add even more flavour. Drain on paper towel.
3. Get all your pre chopped ingredients around you and you're ready to roll.
4. The packet of rice paper rolls will most likely have instructions on the back on how to use them, you can follow these (and skip ahead to step 6). If yours doesn't - here is what you do:
5. Get a deepish dinner plate and fill it with boiling hot water. Carefully slide your dry rice paper roll under the water (don't just place it on top - this will make it curl up) and leave in for about 5-10 seconds. Carefully pick it out and spread it out on a board ready to roll. You will find that as the water in your plate cools down a bit you will need to leave them in for longer to cook properly. You will probably have to replace the hot water after every 5-6 rolls.
6. Now you have your rice paper ready add a piece of tofu to the middle of the bottom edge. Add a small amount of vermicelli, a piece of cucumber and a sprinkling of the mint, coriander and lettuce.
7. Roll the bottom of the paper over the filling and then fold in the sides. Continue to roll until it is all together (like you would roll a spring roll, or a cigar - because we all roll cigars all the time!).
8. Repeat until you start to run out of ingredients! Serve dipped in sweet soy dipping sauce,

Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce (Trik Sa-ieu Chu P'em)
4 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp sugar
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp Sambal Oelek
2 tbsp soy sauce

To Make
1. Dissolve the sugar in the hot water.
2. Add all other ingredients and serve with the summer rolls.

Makes about 20 rolls.

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