For the past couple days, I've been craving thai or viatnamese food, but we're at the tight end of the month (payday is next week), so grocery shopping wasn't really an option. So, I threw this together from the pantry.
It's a recipe that doesn't require exact measurements and can be made as easily for one person as for a dozen.
Viatnamese dipping sauce, Nuoc Cham (bottled or home made), or reasonable facsimile (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person, plus more for dipping if desired - recipe at the bottom).
TVP granules (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person)
Washed and trimmed (but left whole) romaine lettuce leaves (4 or more leaves per person).
Optional ingredients (any, all, or none of the following):
leftover cooked brown or wild rice, cilantro, mint leaves, thai basil, bean sprouts thinly sliced or finely diced veggies such as carrots, green onions, snow or snap pea pods, bell pepper...)
Soak the tvp in about the same volume of Nuoc Cham (so if you use one cup of tvp, use just at least 1 cup of Nuoc Cham - a smidge more is fine if you want a moister filling. Exact proportions aren't important).
You can let the mixture sit on the counter while you prepare the other ingredients or you can make the tvp mixture ahead of time and put it in the fridge. It has to sit at least 10 minutes for the the tvp to soften as it reconstitutes (you don't want it crunchy - well maybe you do, I didn't).
The tvp mixture (and the rice) can be heated in a microwave or in a skillet if you want to. I ate mine cold, and they were very good.
Spoon a tablespoon or two of tvp mixture onto the lettuce leaf (rib side down, so that the lettuce forms a little boat, and you're filling the boat like you would a taco). Add a tablespoon rice and any other ingredients you want. Fold and eat like a taco.
Nuoc Cham Recipe
I didn't have all of the ingredients listed, so I left out or substituted for what I didn't have. I left out the lime juice and increased the rice vinegar ot 1/4 cup, and I substituted a squirt of hot sauce for the bird peppers, and a pinch of garlic powder for the fresh garlic.
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 birds eye chili, chopped
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
juice of one lime
1-2 tablespoons sugar or artificial sweetener to taste (I use Splenda)
You can adjust the proportion of ingredients any way you wish, so you can adjust the sweetness, sourness, and fishiness of the sauce by mixing the ingredients to your own tastes.