One of the things that I look forward to doing when I come home from school is cooking up a STORM! I have all of my gizmos and gadgets and I can make all the messes I want! While I do cook at school, it usually consists of boiling eggs, making soup, and blending together smoothies in my Magic Bullet. I am probably the only person on campus who keeps kale in their fridge on a semi-regular basis and if I don’t have eggs, it means that Lauren is about to have a panic attack.
I have been dying to make spring rolls for weeks, and they require a lot of ingredients that I generally leave at home. They are also kind of messy and its just not as much fun to make messes when you aren’t home. I first learned to make spring rolls when the lady that I work with invited me over for supper. (Hi Marie!) She had everything planned and laid out and she taught me how to make them, right down to the amazing peanut sauce. Without the sauce, these spring rolls are just salads wrapped in paper. But with the sauce…oh buddy…
Now I got the recipe for the sauce that I use from another blogger and the link to her blog is http://shesimmers.com/2009/03/how-to-make-thai-peanut-sauce-my-moms.html. The sauce is actually a Thai Satay sauce and can be used in a number of recipes. Essentially, its just spicy peanut butter and I even use it to dip fresh veggies in when I get tired of hummus (which rarely happens, but I really love this sauce.)
So! For the spring rolls themselves, I used…
- baby spinach
- sliced or shredded carrots
- sliced cucumbers
- green onions
- cooked chicken or shrimp (optional)
- sliced avocado
- rice paper wraps, I like the big ones
You can find rice paper wraps at any Asian grocery store, and I think I have even seen them at Meijer before. If you get the larger ones, about the size of a dinner plate, then they are easier to roll and you can stuff more vegetable goodness inside!
Also, you can put whatever you want in these. I love the fresh crunch from the cucumber and carrots, and the edamame was just something I had in the fridge and I think it is a must have now. Its traditional to add rice or rice noodles, but I’d rather just put extra veggies in 🙂 This recipe is also totally gluten free!
First, prep and lay out all ingredients for faster assembly. You will have to soak the rice paper for a few seconds to soften it, and it gets softer and more pliable after you take it from the water and begin to fill it. I just put water in a large, deep plate and press the paper down in. (Follow the instructions on the package, you can do it!)
After you have soaked the rice paper, lay it out on a flat surface. I like to use my cutting board because it is normally already out from prepping. Quickly, begin to fill the wrapper! I like to put lettuce/spinach first, and then everything else on top. Really its just like making a salad :).
Mmmm look at it! Everything is so FRESH! Okay, so at this point I have learned to drizzle on the peanut sauce so that it is all the way through the wrap. Dipping it after every bite is fun, but it does get messy. FYI this isn’t a good first date food…you and your date will both look like you have never fed yourselves before…
This is the tough part! By this time the rice paper should be very flimsy, stretchy, and slippery. If it is still stiff, sprinkle some more water on the edges and wait. If you have problems with weird textures, eating this might be an experience for you. If nothing else, you have recipes for a salad and an amazing peanut sauce! Wrap the paper up around the salad like you would if you were working at Chipotle’s and making a burrito. There might even be directions for this on the back of the rice paper package as well. I’m not a proud person, I use written directions all the time LOL even when I don’t really need them…
And here is the finished product! YUMMY! I just love these, and despite the processed wrapper (you gotta live) it has a lot of really good, nutrient dense veggies in it. Normally, restaurants will fry these after they have wrapped them up. NOOO! I mean, I’m sure they taste great, but eww fried salad? Making these also gives me permission to make peanut sauce. Make the sauce. You will understand!
If you have any questions, please comment below! Good luck and make your own creations. That is what makes cooking fun 🙂
Thanks for reading!