Encore: Revenge of the “Vedge”
You just can’t keep me away from the cookbook, “Vedge”, by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. Everything I make from it is so dang flavorful and unique that I feel like a culinary rock star. In my search for recipes for this cookbook challenge, I found so many great ones, that it was hard to do just a few of them from this book. This was one intriguing recipe that I kept going back to, and it is called Daikon “Summer Rolls”. I was unsure if it was worth the effort as making regular summer rolls can be time consuming, and so, the idea of using pickled daikon as the wrap seemed like even more time spent. Additionally, I would have to wing it with written instructions as there were no pictures to show me how to make the rolls. (My biggest peeve about this cookbook is that not all of the recipes have photos). I’m a sucker for a summer roll, so I brazenly made these bad boys anyway, and I’m oh-so glad that I did. Now, I have a new favorite way to eat daikon.
What really struck me when I tried them, was how much it tasted like a traditional summer roll. The trick to successfully pulling off this dish is in getting the daikon pieces cut as thin as you can possibly get them. You really should have a mandoline to execute this recipe, because it’s nearly impossible to cut thin enough by hand. Even with the use of a mandoline, some of my pieces were too thick to roll. (I saved those pieces to pickle later). For this recipe I suggest buying the largest, longest daikon that you can find so you can get as many pieces as possible to work with. I was happy to find some huge daikon grown from local farmers in Volcano. (Shown in the photo below.) That makes me think that one of these days I’m going to have to try growing some for myself!
There were a couple of minimal changes I made to the recipe, like swapping clover sprouts for the cucumber, and instead of julienned carrots, I shredded mine. I also made my own baked tofu because I like mine better than the store bought, and did not have sambal oelek, but used my own special homemade chili sauce that was just as spicy. One thing I would recommend doing is, marinating the daikon as long as possible. It will soften the pieces as well as give them flavor. I would also pat them a little dry before use, otherwise, they are watery and messy. Overall, the recipe really isn’t that difficult and in some ways it’s easier than doing it the traditional way. I was pleasantly surprised by my results and would definitely make this again. My only regret is not making a peanut dipping sauce to go with them, but you can bet I will do so next time!!