After years of unsuccessfully trying to roll a simple rice wrapper, today I finally tossed the remnants of my pitiful efforts into the garbage and made a quick deconstructed version instead. The end result might be one of my new favorite vegan and gluten-free lunches – the Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad!
By no means novel, this salad certainly fit the bill for me and highlights some mind-blowing Asian condiments I discovered in recent months – Tsang Bangkok Peanut Sauce and Japanese Rice Seasoning. Over the years, my kids have also grown to really love mung bean (or “glass” or “cellophane”) noodles tossed with a sesame oil and soy sauce dressing, so I tend to keep these ingredients pretty stocked up in the pantry, which came in handy today.
The bed of fluffy cool lettuce and crunchy vegetables tossed with sweet, pungent herbs of basil and mint are woven with strings of salty cold noodles and topped with extra cold, extra firm tofu right out of the fridge to make a really light lunch that is packed with protein. Glass noodles contain no sugar or cholesterol, and even though they are high in carbohydrates they have actually been proven to rate as a low-glycemic carbohydrate. If you’re note a fan of uncooked tofu, baked or fried would work or even edamame as an alternative – there’s no wrong way to do this. The best part is that the ingredients can be doubled or tripled and will last in the fridge all week.
- 2 cups chopped lettuce (any kind will work)
- 1 Persian cucumber or 1/2 seedless English cucumber, diced with skin on
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 TB basil, chopped
- 1 TB mint, chopped
- 1/3 block of extra firm tofu, cut into 1” cubes
- 1/2 – 1 cup cooked Vermicelli “glass” mung bean noodles
- 1 TB soy sauce or tamari sauce
- 1 ts sesame oil
- 1 TB Bankgkok Peanut Sauce, diluted with 1 TB water to make a creamy salad dressing
- 1 TB Nori Komi Furikake Rice Seasoning
Boil noodles for 6 minutes on medium heat, then drain and immediately rinse under cold water to cool temperature. Keep in mind the noodles comes in dry blocks with 8 to a packet so you’ll likely need to cook one to two blocks at a time and keep the leftovers. Toss with the sesame oil and soy sauce and let sit while you prep the components of the salad. Slowly mix in the noodles, top with cubed tofu, rice seasoning and peanut dressing.