Last month, I shared a pre-review of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More, but the cookbook has now arrived! Available on Amazon, this is one dairy-free AND gluten-free gem that Asian food lovers should not miss.
If you are like me, you might want a little sample from the book to chew on. So with the permission of the author and publisher, I have an incredible 3-in-1 recipe to share with you from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell.
Laura walks us through making salad rolls with rice paper and offers not one, but two very flavorful dipping sauce recipes. Rice paper salad rolls are a fantastic, light summer meal, but they also wrap up and store nicely to pack along for a healthy, low calorie back-to-school or office lunch. Simply include a container with your dipping sauce of choice (or both!).
The following recipes are reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More. Copyright © 2011 by Laura B. Russell, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Leo Gong.
Salad Rolls with Crab and Spicy Mango Sauce or Peanut Satay Sauce
Don’t let working with rice paper intimidate you; I promise it will be old hat after you finish the first few rolls. Besides, you’ll want to master the technique as part of your gluten-free arsenal. Once you learn the process, you can craft salad rolls using any ingredients you like, even ones that aren’t Asian!
- 3 Ounces Dried Rice Vermicelli
- 3/4 Pound Cooked, Picked Crabmeat (do not use imitation crab; it usually contains gluten)
- 2 Carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 Small Red Bell Pepper, cut into very thin slices
- 1 Cup Shredded Lettuce, such as butter or Boston
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Daikon Radish
- 1/2 Cup Loosely Packed Fresh Cilantro Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Loosely Packed Fresh Mint Leaves
- Freshly Squeezed Juice of 1/2 Lime
- 2 Tablespoons Asian Fish Sauce
- 16 (8- to 9-inch-diameter) Rice Paper Wrappers (also called spring roll wrappers or spring roll skins), made from rice flour or tapioca flour
- Spicy Mango Sauce or Peanut Satay Sauce (both recipes follow), for serving
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles. Remove the pan from the heat and let the noodles stand in the water until tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness. Drain the noodles in a colander and then rinse with cold water. Squeeze any excess water from the noodles. Cut them into shorter lengths with scissors and then transfer them to a large bowl.
Add the crab, carrots, bell pepper, lettuce, radish, cilantro, and mint to the noodles and toss until well combined. Add the lime juice and fish sauce and toss once more.
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Put two of the rice paper wrappers in the water and soak until pliable, about 30 seconds. Carefully remove the wrappers from the water and set them on a clean kitchen towel. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the filling on the lower third of each rice paper wrapper and arrange the filling, crosswise, into a log, leaving about a 1-inch border. Bring the lower part of the wrapper up over the filling to enclose it. Fold in the sides of the wrapper over the filling, and then roll into a tight cylinder. Press lightly to seal the edges. Transfer the finished rolls to a platter and cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. The rolls can be assembled several hours ahead. Cover them with a damp paper towel ,then plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Serve with the mango sauce or peanut sauce.
Variations: Instead of crab, use cooked chicken (I even use store-bought rotisserie chicken sometimes, assuming it is gluten free), bulgogi (recipe in Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen), shrimp, tofu, or grilled pork. You will need about 2 cups of bite-sized pieces of any of these.
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
Spicy Mango Sauce
- 1-1/4 Cups Diced Fresh or Frozen Mango (thawed if frozen)
- 1/4 Cup Loosely Packed Fresh Cilantro Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Unseasoned Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Grated Fresh Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Jalapeño Chile, seeds and ribs removed
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
Combine the mango, cilantro, vinegar, ginger, oil, jalapeño, and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. The sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
Peanut Satay Sauce
Use this versatile peanut sauce not only as a dip for grilled satay skewers [or the crab rolls above!], but also as the backbone for Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Chicken and Peanut Sauce (recipe in the Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen). The sauce contains a little bit of heat, but you can cut back on it or eliminate it altogether if you think it will scare the kids. The sauce keeps for days, but inevitably thickens as it sits. You can thin the sauce with a little coconut milk, water, or gluten-free chicken broth.
- 1/2 Cup No-Stir Organic Peanut Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce or Tamari gf
- 1 Tablespoon Grated Fresh Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Mirin
- 2 Teaspoons Sriracha or Other Chili-Garlic Sauce gf
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, more if needed
In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, mirin, Sriracha, and coriander. Stir in the water. Heat the ingredients over moderate heat, stirring to combine. Do not let the sauce boil or it will separate. The consistency of the sauce should be pourable, but it will likely thicken as it sits. When the peanut sauce is hot, stir in the lime juice. Taste the sauce and add a little more lime juice if you like more acidity. The sauce will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for about 1 week.
Variation: Use smooth or crunchy almond butter instead of peanut butter for a healthy and delicious alternative.
Makes about 2 cups
Article by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.