Monday, August 8, 2011

Tofu Green Curry, Spring Rolls and Zucchini Cakes with Curried Dipping Sauce

Sunday night cooking at our house last night. I had spring roll wrappers and chopped veggies at the ready, a half block of tofu and 3/4 can of coconut milk leftover in the fridge and a gorgeous zucchini from the farmer's market. This meal was born, a blend of thai and middle eastern flavors. The zucchini pancakes were an old favorite, spiced up with a new dipping sauce, the spring rolls a new favorite I foresee making frequently in the future.

Tofu Green Curry

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Zucchini Cakes with Curried Dipping Sauce

Spring Rolls

This recipe was adapted from Martin Yan's vietnamese rice-paper rolls recipe. The rolls turned out really well and the dipping sauce is one of the best parts.

- 2 ounces bean thread noodles
- shredded carrots
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- pinch of ground black pepper
- 12 7 inch rice paper rounds
- Tofu, cut into strips
- Bell pepper, cut into strips
- soft tops of 12 red leaf lettuce leaves
- 3 green onions, trimmed and cut into thin 2 inch strips
- 12 cilantro sprigs

1) Bring saucepan of water to a boil, add bean thread noodles and turn off the heat. Let soak until softened, about 15 minutes (check package for precise directions on how to cook your noodles)

2) Gently toss the tofu, fish sauce, sesame oil, chopped cilantro and pepper in a bowl until the tofu is evenly coated. set aside.

3) To make the rolls:  Immerse rice paper round in warm water just until it begins to soften, about 10 seconds, then lay it on the work surface. Let stand until it pecomes pliable, about 1 minute. place a couple of tofu strips, in the center of the rice paper. Place lettuce leave on top. place bell pepper strips and carrot over the lettuce and top with a small mound of noodles, 3 to 4 strips of green onions and a cilantro sprig. Fold the right and left sides of the wrapper over the filling, then starting at the bottom, roll the wrapped and filling into a neat, compact roll. repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Makes 12 rolls

peanut dipping sauce

- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until incorporated. makes one cup.

Zucchini Cakes with Curried Dipping Sauce

I adore zucchini pancakes and love pairing them with different dipping sauces. We are starting to see beautiful zucchini in gardens and at the markets and I couldn't resist making this today.


1 - 1 1/2 lb zucchini
1 small white onion
1 egg
6 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper

- Heat oven to 200

- Using a box grater, grate the zucchini and onion. Set in a colander and let drain for awhile (30 minutes recommended).

- Squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as possible and lay the vegetables out on paper towels.

- Lightly beat the egg.

- In a large bowl combine the zucchini onion mixture, egg, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.

- On the stove top heat a skillet with oil over medium high heat

- Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the skillet and flatten. Cook on one side until crispy and brown then flip.

- Set cakes on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil and move to an oven proof plate to keep warm while finishing the rest.

- Continue this way until all of the batter is gone, adding extra oil to the skillet as needed


8 oz. plain yogurt
2 Tbsp curry
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp harissa

- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill until serving.