This recipe is also essentially gluten-free. However, if you or your guests are on a strict diet, be sure to check the ingredients on the soy sauce and (optional) hoisin sauce, as these sometimes contain wheat.
Vietnamese-Inspired Rice Crisps
Makes 16 crisps
For the relish:
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch dice
4 medium radishes (or equivalent piece of daikon), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
1/2 teaspoon seeded and minced red jalapeño or other chili
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
For the tofu:
6 to 8 ounces extra firm tofu (half a standard package)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 bulbs lemongrass, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
For the rice crisps:
2 (8-inch) round rice paper wrappers
Vegetable oil for frying
For the relish
Combine all relish ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.
For the tofu
Cut tofu into 1/2-inch pieces and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to rid of excess water. In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, lemongrass, and garlic. Place tofu in dish, gently coat slices with marinade, and arrange so they overlap as little as possible. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Cook in a skillet over moderate heat until brown and crisp on each side.
For the rice crisps
Using scissors, cut each rice paper wrapper into 8 wedges. Heat a skillet with 1 inch of oil over moderate heat. The oil is hot enough when bubbles form around a wooden chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon inserted in the oil. Gently drop a rice paper wedge into the oil and fry until crisp, 1-2 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or strainer and drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining rice paper wedges.
Divide tofu between rice crisps and top with relish. If desired, garnish with extra peanuts, mint leaves, and/or a spot of hoisin sauce. Serve immediately.
Related: Recipe: Kimchi Tofu Summer Rolls
(Images: Emily Ho)