Food Blog

Fresh rolls with walnut-lentil pate and mock nuoc cham

I love fresh rolls/salad rolls made with rice paper. For Vegan MoFo last year, I made a much more elaborate version. That’s why I’d had my eye on this version in Salad Samurai, because vegan pate made with walnuts and black lentils is a hell of a lot more approachable than homemade vegan fish (made from tofu skin and agar), and with a more reasonable amount of prep.

First, gotta get everything ready to roll. Besides the pate–which I made the day before–all I had to do was chop up some veggies and herbs: lettuce, cucumber, carrot, radish, green onion, cilantro, and, what the hell, avocado. I set out a pie plate for hot water to soften the rice paper, a dinner plate for assembly, and a salad plate to pile up the winnings.

For each roll, gotta make a neat little pile of fillings and roll it tight. The paper shouldn’t get soaked in the water, only dampened, because it’ll continue to soften. Once you’re ready to roll, it’ll be perfectly pliable and won’t tear as easily as if you’d let it get too wet.

After a few rolls, you re-learn your own tricks, like putting somethin’ pretty like cilantro on the last fold so it’ll show through the translucent rice paper. They might not be perfectly or effortlessly uniform, but that’s OK. It’s just dinner.

Although the cookbook suggests a soy-mustard dipping sauce, I opted for the mock nuoc cham from Vegan Eats World, which is sweet and sour and had the side benefit of using up the remaining shredded carrot and adding a bit more herbs (fresh mint).