With a plethora of different tasting beer, you today find a very flavor conscious/forward movement where food and beer is meticulously matched to bring out new combinations and gastronomic experiences. There are numerous ways to partake in this, just get yourself a seat at the next local beer makers dinner for example. Food and beer pairings are as easily arranged in the comfort of your home as I'd like to prove to you in this post. Let me also prove a point that beer and food preparations can be a healthy option.
To get an expert angle on the food I've partnered with my good friend Katie Trant of food blog The Muffin Myth. She's a Canadian living in Sweden, a practicing nutritionist with an MSc in human nutrition, and has a special interest in making delicious healthy vegetarian food. Another talent of hers is being a killer meal planner, focusing on healthy food for busy people. Make sure to check her site you if you feel like getting your dinners in check.
In this piece, I looked to fuse to together Katie's nutritional expertise and my own knowledge about beer in a healthy and light meal fit the sunny season. While Katie brought her vegetarian Tofu Summer Rolls to the table I wanted to pair this meal in both flavor and healthiness. I chose to go with Belgian Dupont Biolegere. A dry farmhouse concoction that clocks in at reasonable 3.5 ABV, which most would agree is the original alcoholic content of this workers' beer. Biolegere is a bright and spritzy saison with the usual citrusy and clove attributes with a beautiful depth in flavors. Although only 3.5 the Dupont yeast lends it a surprisingly rich mouthfeel only to land in a distinct dry and clean finish.
Serves 6-12 as an appitizer / 4 as a main course
Total time 60 minutes. Though many hands makes quick work of the rolling.
Tofu and Veggie Summer Rolls
- 12 rice paper wrappers
- 100g Thai rice noodles, cooked according to package directions and rinsed well with cold water
- 250g extra firm tofu, sliced into matchsticks
- 1-2 large carrots, shredded with a julienne peeler
- 1/2 a long english cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
- 1/2 a small white cabbage, very thinly sliced or shredded
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2-4 spring onions, sliced into thin strips
- 1 spring onion, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce (I used Bragg's liquid aminos)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
To make the summer rolls
- Set up an assembly station that begins with a shallow plate of cold water and ends with a piece of parchment paper to place the summer rolls on, with the prepared fillings in the middle. A slightly damp clean dishcloth is nice to work on.
- Submerge a sheet of rice paper in the water for 10-20 seconds. It should still be a bit 'al dente' when removed from the water as it will continue to absorb liquid and become very soft. Place the wet rice paper wrapper on the damp dishcloth.
- Place a small handful of rice noodles down, followed by some cucumber, shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, red pepper, a strip of spring onion, and a bit of cilantro. Very carefully fold one side of the wrapper over the other, tuck the ends in, and roll it up like a tiny burrito. Place the completed summer roll on the waiting parchment. Repeat with all 12 wrappers.
- Whisk the ingredients for the dipping sauce together in a small bowl. Serve the summer rolls immediately with small bowls of dipping sauce. Chopsticks are fun, but clean hands work just fine as well!