A lot of chefs come through the Your Morning kitchen and patio, but today we met the first one to have cooked for three Governor Generals of Canada. Chef Cameron Stauch has cooked for David Johnston, Michaelle Jean, and Adrienne Clarkson and he recently dropped by the Your Morning kitchen to share recipes straight from the pages of his book, Vegetarian Vietnam.
Rainbow Rice Paper Rolls
Makes 16 rolls with 8 ½ inch (22 cm) round rice papers
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 4 ounces (113 g) dried vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
- ¼ pound (113 g) watermelon radish of daikon, cut into matchsticks (1 cup)
- ¼ pound (113 g) jicama, cut into 32 strips, 4 to 4 inches long and ¼ inch (6 mm) wide (1 cup)
- 1 head green or red Bibb or Boston lettuce, torn into palm-sized pieces
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
- ¾ packed mint or Thai basil leaves or a combination
- 16 rice paper rounds, 8 ½ inches (22 cm) in diameter
WHAT YOU DO:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the noodles and use chopsticks or tongs to untangle and loosen. Boil until tender, 3 – 5 minutes, then drain and immediately flush with cold water.
- Squeeze gently four or five times to get rid of any excess water. Set aside on a plate, loosely covered with a clean kitchen towel. (You should have about 2 cups of noodles).
- Mix the carrot and radish together and divide into four piles on a large platter. Place, along with the jicama, lettuce, cilantro, mint and rice paper, next to a clean cutting board, preferably next to the stove.
- Place a large shallow skillet or a 9-or 10-inch (23 to 25 cm) pie plate filled with warm to hot tap water on an unlit burner closest to the cutting board. Dip one rice paper into the water for a few seconds to soften and lay it flat on the cutting board. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom third of the rice paper, leaving a border of 1 ½ inches (4 cm) on either side. Place 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of noodles on the lettuce and spread into a 4 – ½ inch (11 cm) line. Line three leaves of cilantro and a leaf or two of each mint and basil over the top. Grab a portion of the carrot/radish mixture (a quarter of each pile is one portion) and two jicama strips and spread over the length of the noodles, overlapping if necessary.
- Carefully flit the bottom edge of rice paper over the filling and roll over once into a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides and continue to roll into a cylinder 4 to 5 inches in length. Place on a clean plate or serving platter loosely covered with a damp clean dish towel. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling. (When the water is no longer warm, gently reheat it or discard the cold water from the pie plate and refill with warm to hot water.)
- Store the rolls in a single layer on a plate or tray covered with a damp clean dish towel and wrapped with plastic in the fridge for up to several hours before serving.
Young Jackfruit Salad
Serves 3 or 4 as part of a multi dish meal
- 1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 2 tablespoons Crispy Fried Shallots
- 1 or 2 Toasted Sesame Rice Crackers
WHAT YOU NEED:
- One 17-ounce can young green jackfruit in water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ pound oyster mushrooms, trimmed & cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
- ½ small white onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped Vietnamese coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
For the Dressing
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ fresh mild long red chile, seeded and finely chopped or 1 fresh red Thai bird chile for more heat
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
WHAT YOU DO:
- Prepare the Toasted Sesame Seeds, Crispy Fried Shallots, and Toasted Sesame Rice Crackers
- Drain the jackfruit, rinse well, and gently squeeze out any excess water. Cut or pull apart into bite-sized strips or shreds, discarding any hard sections, and place in a large bowl.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, stirring to coat the mushrooms lightly with oil.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, without shaking the pan or stirring, to brown the mushrooms. Give them a quick stir and cook for another 2 minutes, again without stirring. Push the jackfruit to one side of the bowl and spoon the mushrooms into the empty side to cool.
To make the Dressing:
- Spoon the sugar, water, rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt into a small bowl. Stir to fully dissolve the sugar. Add and mix the chile and garlic into the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Toss the carrot, onion, Vietnamese coriander, cilantro, and mint over the jackfruit. Pour the dressing into the bowl and mix well. Scoop the salad, leaving most of the dressing in the bowl, onto a serving dish. Spoon half of the dressing or to taste, over the salad. Decoratively sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds and crispy shallots over the top.
- To eat, break off a bite-sized piece of the rice cracker and spoon a small amount of the salad on top.