Spring Roll in a Bowl

Some food speaks for itself.

But in case you like words... how about delicate rice noodles, topped with crisp carrots, cucumber, fresh mint, cilantro, and thai basil with a rich peanut sauce finished with crunchy, salty peanuts? 

Peanut sauce:
  • 1/2 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 medium lime)
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic paste
  • 1 minced thai chili
  • 1 medium garlic clove, mashed to a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed, roasted peanuts
Tofu kebab:
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 kiwi, mashed (optional)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 8 ounces tofu, in 1" cubes (Chicken is also a tasty sub)
Bowl ingredients:
  • Rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions, drained and cooled (enough for two people, how much you want is up to you...)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded or julienned 
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded, peeled and julienned
  • Mint, cilantro, and thai basil, chiffonade (ed....? what's the past tense of chiffonade...?)
  1. Mix the tofu kebab marinade ingredients in a bag and add tofu.  Marinate at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight. 
  2. Heat oven to 400°F.  Skewer the cubes of marinated tofu, and bake on a foil covered sheet pan for 20-25 minutes, or until crisp around the edges. (If using chicken, reduce the time to 12-15 minutes.)
  3. While the kebabs bake, mix all peanut sauce ingredients.  Add more water if the mixture is thicker than preferred.
  4. Top your noodles with peanut sauce, veggies, herbs, and peanuts.  Serve with hot tofu.
  • Makes enough sauce and tofu for about 2 people, so plan noodles accordingly
  • This recipe is kind of a Vietnamese-Thai fusion approach.  If you prefer strictly vietnamese, use a more traditional chili lime sauce instead.

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