I’ve updated this blast from the past post! Ani Phyo’s un-cookbook, Ani’s Raw Food Asia, is gorgeous! I’ve reviewed two of her prior cookbooks (Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen and Ani’s Raw Food Desserts), but this is by far my favorite, both visually and in terms of the recipes. One of which, the summer cucumber rolls, I will be sharing here today.
Ani’s Raw Food Asia is beautifully designed with full color photos throughout and a clean yet artistic layout that reminds me of many of the other Asian cookbooks in my collection. While her past books tend to be a bit heavy in self-portraits (personal opinion), this one has a more ideal balance of appealing photos. The contents include an abundance of scrumptious recipe pictures, step-by-step photos of Ani demonstrating techniques (such as how to open a coconut), and regional-type images that lend an even greater Asian flavor to the book.
As for the writing, I really couldn’t ask for more in a cookbook (or un-cookbook). There are helpful tips, how to’s for techniques, educational briefs, handy icons, geographic labels, and tons of simple raw food recipes. As someone who adores the flavors of Asia, I can easily say that this will be my most used raw food book. Though I don’t have the equipment to make all of the recipes (i.e. a dehydrator), there are enough to keep me busy. Some of the recipes that I have tagged to make include the following:
- Avocado Shake with Chocolate Fudge Sauce (Indonesia)
- Sesame Romaine Salad (Korea)
- Asparagus Namul (Korea)
- Noodles and Vegetables in a Red Curry Sauce (Thailand)
- Noodles in Seaweed Broth with Japanese Seven-Spice (Japan)
- Matcha Green Tea Ice Dream (Japan)
- Raw Summer Rolls (or Japanese cucumber rolls as I call them!)
Special Diet Notes: Asian Cucumber Rolls
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1 cup shredded Boston lettuce leaves
- 1 cup kelp noodles, cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1⁄2 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons basil or thai basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon thai hot pepper, serrano pepper, or other small hot chile pepper, seeded and julienned
- 2 cucumbers, sliced very thin lengthwise, using mandolin slicer
- 3⁄4 cup almond butter (can use peanut butter)
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nama shoyu (or wheat-free tamari for gluten free)
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1⁄2 cup coconut water or filtered water, as desired
- 2 tablespoons lightly chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- Place filling ingredients into bowls and arrange on your table or countertop.
- To assemble rolls, place a strip of cucumber onto a fl at surface, like a cutting board. Layer a scant 2 tablespoons lettuce and 2 tablespoons noodles at one end of the cucumber, followed by 1 tablespoon bean sprouts, 1 teaspoon mint leaves, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon cilantro, 2 pieces of pepper. Place four cucumber sticks to either side of your noodle, herb, and spice pile.
- Roll fillings up inside cucumber strip diagonally. Place in a container. Repeat.
- To serve, transfer rolls onto a serving plate or four dishes. Serve with a side of Ginger “Peanut” Sauce for dipping.
- These are best eaten immediately, but they will keep in fridge for 1 day.
- In blender, place all sauce ingredients. Blend smooth, adding just enough water for desired dipping consistency.
- To serve, scoop into small bowl. Sprinkle on cilantro and lime zest before serving.
- Will keep for 5 days in fridge.