Spring Rolls

Welcome to my latest obsession.  These spring rolls are completely addicting, gratefully in a healthy and good kind of way.  I love spring rolls and have eaten them out on the town for years, but I only recently became a do-it-yourself-spring-roll-aficionado.  If you have not tried making spring rolls, I urge you wait no longer!  If you have made a tortilla roll up, burrito, or even a sandwich, you can master a veggie filled, protein packed spring roll on your very first try.

There are three components to the perfect spring roll: rice paper, julienned vegetables, and a fabulous dipping sauce.

Rice paper is available just about everywhere. And, by everywhere I mean all four five of the grocery stores I happen to frequent. Most grocery stores have an Asian aisle or imported food section.  You should be able to find spring roll/rice paper there.  I have found three brands consistently around the Austin area: Blue Dragon, Mekong Rice Paper, and Banh Trang Spring Rolls Skin.  They are inexpensive and will last through your impending spring roll obsession.

There really is no recipe for spring rolls, but for inspiration, I’ll tell you what I’ve been filling mine with lately.  And, if you aren’t in the mood to whip out  your mandoline or test your knife skills making perfectly julienned veggies, you can always buy pre-sliced and diced vegetables. I did a little of both.

Spring Roll filling inspiration

cucumbers (really a must for me!)

carrots

bell pepper

zucchini

broccoli slaw (I buy an organic package and toss it in salads too)

spring onions or red onions

purple cabbage

sprouts

cilantro (a must!)

mint (a must!)

shrimp

Chances are you have most of these ingredients already in your kitchen.  Promise me, you won’t leave out the cilantro and mint!  You will love, love the fresh flavor these handy herbs bring to the rolls.  I’ve been adding small slices of left-over meat to the rolls too. I’m on a grilled shrimp kick right now, but thinly sliced chicken or beef would be heavenly too. Whatever you have left over, be creative!

Here’s the kicker.  This sauce really should be outlawed.  I can’t even tell you what Husband dubbed it.  I found the recipe at My New Roots and am smitten with the flavor. Go ahead and double the recipe…you’ll thank me later.

Divine Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup almond butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp tamari

1 Tbs agave nectar

2 Tbs water

1 lime, juiced

crushed red pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Add more water if sauce is too thick, and adjust seasoning to taste.

Once you have the veggies prepped and the sauce made the assembly is a breeze.  Take one sheet of rice paper and place it in a pie pan or large plate filled with warm water.  Soak the paper for 5-10 seconds and place on a dry tea towel and blot dry.  Place rice paper on a cutting board or plate.  Spread a generous layer of Divine Dipping Sauce across the diameter (center) of the paper.  Add your julienned veggies and protein.  Fold the top side of the paper over the sauce and veggies, then bring the short sides of the paper up each side.  Then gently roll the folded parts over remaining rice paper until a nice neat (or not so neat!) wrap is made.

Voila! Spring Roll bliss.

Keep extra chopped up veggies and sauce in the fridge so you can make these delicious treats anytime.  They hold up well in lunch boxes – yes, two of the four Littles love spring rolls.  And I’ve sent Husband out the door with spring rolls in his lunch too.

What are your favorite spring roll ingredients?