With a ginger-miso beetroot paste, earthy mushrooms and hoisin infused tofu, these Winter Inspired Rice Paper Rolls are wonderfully nutritious, quick and super tasty.
Many moons ago, my lovely friend Helen told me I reminded her of the Black Knight. I owned my own business and while it was rewarding, everyday was filled with challenges and self-doubt. After each fall I would lower my shoulder and drive through to the next hurdle. Like the Monty Python sketch each wound was met with “tis only a flesh wound!”
Working on this blog, I can see the same shades of my personality coming through. I push and pile; I always have. In the last year I have taught myself blogging, photography, photo editing, recipe development, food styling, social media and I am now trying to navigate the politics of cookbook publishing. I also have a wonderfully busy three year-old, a house being renovated and a very patient husband – only a saint would listen to me wax lyrical about vegetables as often as I do – who are deserved of more of my time.
In recent weeks I have tried to nut out a way to have my food journey and a life too; to find a way to step out of my busy cerebrum and live in the real world with my family. The answer it turns out is simpler than I imagined.
Do less. That’s it.
Create one post each week rather than two. Learn one thing at a time. Put one foot in front of the other rather than tripping over my toes. I don’t have a team; there is Me and Me can only do so much. Me will create a beautiful recipe each week, photograph it and write about it. Me will read books to the Elf and take her to the park. Me will go on dates with my husband. Me can do better by doing less.
But for now, Me will stop talking like Cookie Monster and move on to these wonderful Winter inspired rice paper rolls.
Celebrating some of my favourite Winter flavours, these rolls are a harmonious bite full of raw beetroot with ginger and miso, deep earthy mushrooms and the sweet pluminess of hoisin tofu. To balance the smoothness of these textures, I added crunchy zucchini, carrot and spring onion batons and finished with fresh mint leaves. Making them a little different and using up perfectly good produce, I used the leaves from my beetroot bunch as the base. Beetroot leaves are so beautiful with their vibrant green leaf and purple spine.
While I happily nosh on these rice rolls without a dipping sauce, I have created a peanut hoisin sauce with lime for those that love to dip. I love rice paper rolls as a healthy and light lunch and these Winter inspired rice paper rolls are a perfectly balanced bite made for the colder months. With ginger, garlic, carrot and beetroot these little guys also provide a little hit of immunity to help ward of the Winter blues.
As I finish off the last of these rolls, I am pondering a life of less doing. I don’t know how my overactive brain will behave in this transition but I do know that right now, I have a belly full of rice paper rolls and trips to the park to plan.
Winter Inspired Rice Paper Rolls
With a vibrant beetroot paste, earthy mushrooms and hoisin-infused tofu, these Winter Inspired Rice Paper Rolls are deliciously nutritious and quick.
150 grams raw beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 French shallot or a quarter red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cm ginger thumb, grated
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon Genmai miso paste (or a darker miso paste)
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
200 grams mixed Asian mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1 pinch sea salt
- approx 200 grams firm tofu, cut in to 1 cm thick blocks
- hoisin sauce to brush both sides of tofu
- 10 beetroot leaves or 30 baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 carrot, cut in to thin batons
- 1/2 zucchini, cut in to thin batons
- 4 Spring onions, whites cut in to batons
- fresh mint
Peanut and Hoisin Sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon tamarin or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- juice of half a lime
10 rice paper rounds
- To make the beetroot paste, put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to a pesto-like consistency. Set aside.
- For the mushrooms, heat the oil in a fry pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté for three minutes before adding the soy sauce and sea salt and cooking for another minute. Remove from the heat and put in to a bowl.
- To make the tofu, brush one side of each tofu block with the hoisin sauce.
- Heat the same fry pan and add a small amount of vegetable oil. Press the tofu blocks, hoisin side down, on to the pan and cook for three minutes. While cooking, brush the other side with hoisin sauce before turning the tofu over to cook the other side. Cook for another two minutes before removing from the heat and putting on to a plate.
- For the peanut hoisin sauce, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and well combined.
- To prepare the rice paper rolls, either dip a sheet in a large bowl of hot water to soften or lay one on a wet, clean tea towel and cover with another wet towel. The second option takes longer but allows more control.
- Arrange your fillings in an assembly line.
- To assemble to roll, lay the softened rice paper round on a clean surface and lay a beetroot leaf (or three baby spinach leaves) in the centre. Spoon a small amount of the beetroot paste down the centre of the leaf, followed by a layer of mushrooms, a tofu piece, the carrot and zucchini batons, spring onions and a few mint leaves.
- To roll, fold the side closest to you across the filling, fold the left and right sides in to form cigar of sorts and roll away from you. Hold the "cigar" firmly to hold together.
- Repeat with other rice paper rounds and serve with or without the dipping sauce.