Recipe: Fresh Spring Rolls

This might be the most fun I’ve ever had making food.  Wait til you try this recipe!  It’s a nice light crunch packed with flavor.  Picture a spring roll at a Japanese restaurant but without all the grease from deep frying!

Ingredients:

Fresh spring roll wrappers (rice paper, easy to find at Whole Foods and in the oriental aisle in most major grocery stores)
Romaine lettuce, 2-3 leaves chopped
Carrots – 1-2 diced or cut into julienne strips (long and skinny like french fries)
Cucumber – 1/2 diced or cut into julienne strips
Mint – 3-4 leaves chopped

Sauce:

1/8 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp peanut butter
1/8 cup plant milk
1 tsp Red curry paste (optional)

1.  Place 1/4 – 1/2 inch water in shallow frying pan.  Heat to simmer then turn to low.

2.  Blend the sauce in a blender or with a wire wisk.  May need to microwave for a few seconds to melt the peanut butter if it’s not mixing well.  Divvy up sauce into 2-3 dipping bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Set aside.

3.  Take a single sheet of rice paper and dip in and out of the hot water quickly – just long enough to get it wet.  It’ll soften over time even with one quick dip.  If you wet it too much, it will become too soft and hard to work with.  Lay the sheet of rice paper on a plate and like you would fill a burrito, layer in all the veggies close to one end.  Roll up the paper, gently squishing the filling as tightly as you can without ripping the paper.  Once you’ve rolled halfway, fold over both edges and push ingredients to the center to you can hold everything in.  Continue rolling to the end and set aside.

4.  Repeat until you’ve used everything up.  The above ingredients should allow for 3-4 rolls depending on how fat you make them!

5.  Easy alternatives – tomatoes, sweet potato, avocado, olives, spinach, squash (chopped into tiny pieces).  Really, anything goes!

6.  Serve with dipping sauce.  I usually keep the roll whole and just dip each bite because it’s less messy, but once you get good at making tight rolls, you should be able to slice into several 3/4″ pieces like a sushi roll.

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