I have been dreaming of making Thai Wraps again for dinner (post coming soon). My hopes were dashed, however, when I discovered that my children breakfasted on the mangoes required by the wrap recipe, leaving none for dinner. Being too busy otherwise to go to the store, I moved on. Onto Plan B, with many of the same ingredients, but a whole different direction! Best thing about this dish — it’s one of those that’s better for being made ahead of time. Make the veggie mixture and dip ahead of time so assembly is a snap. And you can even wrap these the night before and tuck them away in your lunchbox. Having all that time to salivate in anticipation will surely do more to improve the flavor than any ingredient possibly could!
- 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
- 4 medium carrots, shredded
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped fine
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 2 avocados
- rice wrappers
- Grate, mince, dice and mix everything but avocados and wrappers in a bowl. This is what I had on hand — sprouts, beets, radish, greens, etc would be lovely too.
- Run rice wrapper under water, covering all of both sides with water. If you haven’t worked with them before, know this: it will still be a bit stiff when you put it on a clean cutting board, but it will be perfect by the time you roll, never fear. Don’t wash it til it’s droopy and soft, as that can increase chances of it tearing as you roll it.
- Put about 1/2 cup mixture plus 2-4 avocado slices about 2/3 down the wrap (like where a smile would be on a smiley face). You can also add tomatoes, noodles or tofu at this point if you like. Or mango. If your children haven’t eaten them already, that is.
- Fold up the bottom over the mound of veggies — I like to use this part of the wrap to squish everything down into a more compact roll, like you do when making burritos. Then fold in each side, and keep rolling til you have a gorgeous fresh roll ready to eat!
Based on some recipes from the internet and various cookbooks on loan from the library, I made a dipping sauce thusly:
Citrusoy Dipping Sauce
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 1 juicing orange
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inch piece ginger, minced
- 4 scallions, finely sliced, greens and all
- 1/2 cup nama shoyu (this is saltier and seems more concentrated than tamari, etc)
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 Tbs umeboshi vinegar
- dollop Sriracha or 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbs maple syrup (optional)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Best made at least an hour ahead so the flavors can meld together.
This won a HUGE thumbs up from adults and kids alike. The other cool thing is that working with strong aromas like citrus, ginger, garlic, mint, basil, cilantro, everyone kept walking into the kitchen with vehement exclamations attesting to the awesomeness of the smell. So much so it got me thinking about what a difference fresh herbs make. I love that both kids were happy to go get the mint from the various places it lives at our house. So excited for the rest of our herbs to kick in (c’mon weather! We had May in March, now April in May? what gives??) so we can keep up the good smells.
We served it with a cold cuke-avocado blended soup (also had celery, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, onion, fresh mint, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice and salt) which we garnished with tomatoes. I put in about a half jalapeno; while Dante enjoyed it, Lulu found it to be too spicy. Hard to remember to reign in the heat sometimes… especially in a cold soup. I like the warming quality it lends to something otherwise cooling.
We also made the drink with many names (this cookbook had it as Jamaica (pronounced /həˈmaɪkə/) but since I first knew it as sorrel tea, I’ll go with that. I did a post way back when on the tea, and today’s version was even simpler — I adapted it to this:
The Red Fairy: Maple Mint & Hibiscus
Pour 4 cups-ish boiling water over ~ 1/3 cup dried hibiscus leaves (look in the bulk spices section at the health food store, some ethnic grocers or get them from Mountain Rose Herbs) and let that steep. If you’re like me, let it steep all day since you’re busy doing other things. Strain it into a pitcher, add maple syrup to taste, toss in several mint sprigs and fill the pitcher with cold water. Voila! Impressive deep red color, tasty, tart and oh so good for you! And again, better for sitting, can definitely be made ahead of time. I might add lime next time, tho I’m not sure if it will tip the sourness into the realm of obnoxious. Will have to try.
And keeping me company during dinnermaking? Tim Minchin as castaway on BBC’s Desert Island Discs. The show has been running 42 years — I believe you can listen to the entire archive of more than 1000 shows! Lots of excellent folks in there — from Nick Park to David Tennant to Sir David Attenborough to Roald Dahl and more!
I’ve been making lots of these wrap type rolls lately, either with collards or rice wrappers. I’m on the hunt for a new dipping sauce — what’s your favorite?
Enjoy this excellent way to eat your rainbow!