Vegetarian Summer Rolls

19 Apr

It feels ironic writing about summer rolls in a week when snow and hail have made such a cruel return. Why, gods of Canadian weather, why? It’s April!

Maybe these can be our culinary equivalent to the rain dance. If all across Canada we take to our kitchens and rustle up these tasty symbols of the sunshiny season, maybe we can chase away every last flake of snow.

The recipe for Vegetarian Summer Rolls comes from Executive Chef David Wong of Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Vancouver. These popular items from his “Lifestyle Plus Menu” are not only gluten-free, low-fat and meatless, they are also crazy delicious. And on top of that, we are lucky this particular recipe even exists.

Had David followed his post-graduation plan, he would not be working his magic in the Fairmont Pacific Rim kitchen, he’d be doing social work today. Fortunately for us, after just a year and a bit in that field, he took off on a big European trip with his then-girlfriend, now-wife.

One warm evening in Barcelona, they sat at a restaurant by the shore and tucked into the perfect paella. It was a little crispy on the bottom, and full of plump, delicious seafood. “It reminded me of what made me really happy…” says David: “Food!”

As soon as they got home, he signed up for cooking school.

All that to say, savour this fantastic dish–it’s the product of a happy chef who followed his dreams.

Vegetarian Summer Rolls
(Makes 12 Pieces)

800 g soaked vermicelli noodles
1 cucumber, julienned
250 ml pickled carrots
250 ml pineapple, julienned
½ a bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 head Iceberg lettuce, shredded

Mix together and toss with the marinade (below).

50 ml soy sauce
120 ml sweet soy sauce
100 ml fresh lime juice
20 ml sesame oil
Salt to taste
Siracha to taste

Dip rice wrapper in water and lay flat.

Place vegetable and vermicelli noodle mixture on the wrapper.

Roll tightly.

Repeat and cut rolls in half.  Serve with hoisin peanut sauce (below).

Hoisin Peanut Sauce
1 lime leaf
1 stalk of lemongrass
½ chopped onion
1 pc Birds Eye Chili
125 ml water
125 ml hoisin
250 ml peanut butter

Saute the lime leaf, lemon grass, onion and chili.  Add liquids and simmer.  Strain.

Serving Tip

Garnish with roast chopped peanuts and cilantro

And there we have it, the perfect platter of summer rolls… may the heatwave begin!

6 Responses to “Vegetarian Summer Rolls”

  1. Alison Aikins April 29th, 2011 at 3:12 PM #

    In the peanut sauce what is 1 pc – what is pc?

    • Valerie Howes May 1st, 2011 at 5:44 PM #

      Hi Alison,
      It was an abbreviation for “piece,” but it seems redundant, so I’ve updated the recipe to simply 1 lime leaf and 1/2 chopped onion. Thanks for your comment and good luck with the summer rolls.

      • Wendy May 3rd, 2011 at 10:33 PM #

        The lime leaf isn’t a problem, but what is one piece of Bird’s Eye Chili?

        • Valerie Howes May 5th, 2011 at 9:06 AM #

          Bird’s eye chilis are small chili peppers. You can substitute with 1/2 jalapeno or even a few dashes of hot chili sauce, according to your taste, if you prefer.

  2. Vini May 3rd, 2011 at 2:37 PM #

    I love to make this but are all the ingredients in the above Vegetarian Summer Rolls, Gluten Free?

    Thank you

    • Valerie Howes May 4th, 2011 at 10:16 PM #

      Yes, Vini, these are gluten-free.

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