It’s funny moving to a new place – each week feels long and vibrant, filled with new experiences, smells, tastes, and sights as I move through this unknown city. In another way though, I cannot believe I have already been here a month and a half. That’s the trick of time, it never behaves in the way you think it will, and even when it does your recollections and memories mold it into another thing altogether.
This smokey city has been keeping me up late and waking me early. The cloudy skies – tinted red from the forest fires – have finally lifted to a pale blue. I have felt restless and yet, as always seems to happen, I find myself settling into a routine. It was a surprise to realize that my weekends are all booked with trips and adventure, and my evenings filled with park dinners and family gatherings. I don’t quite feel all myself here yet, but I am treading a currant that is bringing me closer to a place I know I can land.
These rolls are a little bit of nostalgia for home combined with that glorious crunch of fresh produce that summer is spilling forth. Growing up, my parents would make a variety of different dinners, each with their own roster of recipes. One of my favourite summer meals was always my mom’s salad rolls. We would gather around the kitchen table, chatting about our days and snacking on chips with fresh salsa, while we took turns adding ingredients to the delicate, translucent wrappers and rolling them up. It is one of those meals that ends up having to be collaborative. So many sets of hands are needed and they all add to the conversation and the food.
These rolls are a different take on the ones my mom makes (which I will always love). I was craving that fresh crunch you get from high water content vegetables, combined with the silky richness of the avocado and the firm substance of the tofu to hold it together.
If I am honest, this is one of those meals that I make with at least half of my mind focused on the sauce. I am firmly in the camp that all dipping foods are really just a vehicle for a good sauce. Even though these rolls are delicious and could be enjoyed on their own, in my opinion it is the spicy sesame lime dipping sauce that pulls the whole thing together. It has just the right amount of spice and tang, and that salty umami aftertaste that leaves you craving more. I may or may not have tipped the remaining sauce straight into my mouth. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Let me know if you make these as always, and sending love and hugs out to everyone. xo
Mango Mint Avocado Fresh Rolls w/ Spicy Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce
Makes 8-10 fresh rolls (can easily be doubled)
Spicy Sesame Lime Sauce
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp chili garlic paste
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup packed mint leaves
Mango Mint Avocado Fresh Rolls
- rice paper wrappers
- 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 mango, thinly sliced into matchsticks
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced into matchsticks
- 2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced into matchsticks
- 1/2 block tofu
- handful of fresh mint leaves
Preheat oven to 400 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In an upright or compact blender add all of the ingredients for the sauce and blend on high until fully combined.
Slice the block of tofu into thin, long sticks – I did this by slicing lengthwise about 6 times and then turning the block on its side and slicing 6 more times to get cube shaped sticks. Place the tofu sticks on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle apprx. 2 tbsp of the prepared sauce over the tofu. You can turn it a few times so that it is fully coated. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping each piece of tofu halfway through.
Once all your veggies are cut and the tofu is done, you can start rolling. Boil some water in the kettle and get a circular rimmed dish (I like to use a pie dish) and a large cutting board or dinner plate. Place one of the rice paper wrappers into the dish and pour about 2 inches of hot water over it. Let soak for 30 seconds to a minute, until soft. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the cutting board or plate.
Start close to the edge (but not touching) of the wrapper and layer on a few mint leaves, a slice of avocado, one piece of tofu, and two pieces each of mango, red pepper, and cucumber. Start rolling from the end with the ingredients and roll the wrapper over the ingredients and then continue to roll (like a burrito), folding in the sides as you go.
Store finished rolls under a damp kitchen towel on a cutting board to keep them fresh while you are rolling the rest. Enjoy with dipping sauce! These are best eaten immediately.