- Food: Spring rolls with Peanut Sauce
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
For our first date, my now-husband invited me out for spring rolls and beer. To meet him, I recall strolling into a local Thai restaurant.
Because we couldn’t be bothered to look at the menu, our waitress had to come back three times to get our order.
We were so preoccupied with bonding over our mutual love of dogs (we both have one), coming from three-child families (I’m the oldest; he’s the youngest), our shared passion for cuisine and travel, and a million other little details…
Finally, he placed an order for two batches of his favorite spring rolls. I couldn’t eat much because I was scared and full from a day of recipe testing.
Because the restaurant was shutting, the waitress ejected us. I got home and danced with Cookie in the living room. He asked me out once more.
I admitted a couple of months later that I didn’t share his enthusiasm for the spring rolls. “There are too many noodles and not enough vegetables.”
The carrots have a chlorine flavor. “It’s possible that the peanut sauce may be bolder.” He challenged me to think of something greater, and I finally did.
At Thai and Vietnamese eateries, I want to get these fresh, veggie-packed spring rolls. I wouldn’t call these 100% real, but they’re very close.
Of course, I made a delectable peanut dipping sauce to accompany them. Make it a spring roll party by inviting some buddies over! Are you prepared for the recipe?
Ingredients for Spring Rolls
These spring rolls are light, colorful, and enjoyable to create. Because I don’t like shrimp, I left off tofu (you can’t get enough into the rolls to make it worthwhile) and shrimp.
These filler ingredients can be used in a variety of ways. You can substitute more carrots for the cucumber, or more cabbage for the lettuce. Here’s a filling combo that I like:
- Very thin rice noodles.
- Lettuce with butter
- Cabbage (red) (or green cabbage)
- Jalapeno (omit if you’re a spice-averse person)
- Mint, cilantro, and green onion
Peanut butter, rice vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, honey or maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, and fresh garlic are all pantry staples for making peanut sauce.
Wrapping Spring Rolls
Spring rolls may appear frightening at first, but I promise you’ll get the hang of them quickly. You can surely make spring rolls if you’ve folded a burrito before! Don’t be concerned if your spring rolls aren’t flawless. A few pointers:
Start with the foundation.
Begin by laying a few lettuce leaves about one-third of the way down the circular wrapper. The breadth of the spring roll will be determined by the width of your fillings. You should leave a couple of inches open on both sides for wrapping.
Pile the ingredients on top of each other.
After that, combine the remaining ingredients. It doesn’t matter what sequence they’re in. Simply put them on top, making sure to leave some space between them.
It’s fine if the fillings overflow. I make an effort to leave the top one-third of the wrapper unwrapped.
Form the filling into a roll.
Pull the bottom of the wrapper up and over the filling’s lower section. As you roll higher, try to keep the fillings compact until they are completely enveloped.
Fold the sides in and wrap it up.
To enclose the filling, fold each side over. Wrap your spring roll upwards until it is completely wrapped!
Peanut Sauced Fresh Spring Rolls
|Time to Prepare: 40 minutes
Time to Cook: 5 minutes
45 minutes in total
These Vietnamese spring rolls are made with fresh ingredients and are not fried. They’re the ideal appetizer or small supper for a party. The peanut sauce takes them to the next level. This recipe makes 8 spring rolls.
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 2 ounces rice vermicelli or maifun brown rice noodles*
- a quarter teaspoon of fine sea salt
- 1 cup rib-free torn butter lettuce
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into matchsticks or strips with a julienne peeler
- 2 Persian (mini) cucumbers or 1 tiny cucumber, carefully sliced with a julienne peeler or sliced into strips
- 14 cups thinly sliced green onions 2 medium jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 14 cups fresh cilantro, roughly chopped 14 cups fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 8 rice paper sheets (spring roll wrappers)
Sauce made with peanuts
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (low sodium)
- 13 cup peanut butter (creamy)
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil, roasted
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- 2 to 3 tbsp. water (as needed)
- To create the spring rolls, combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then cook the noodles until al dente, as directed on the package. Return them to the pot after draining and rinsing them under cold water. Remove the noodles from the heat and toss them with sesame oil and salt before setting them aside.
- Fill a shallow pan with an inch of water (a pie pan or a 9′′ round cake pan works well). Place a lint-free tea towel next to the dish after folding it in half. Make sure your ready-to-use fillings are close at hand. In a small bowl, whisk together the green onion, cilantro, and mint.
- Place one piece of rice paper in the water and let it sit for around 20 seconds, depending on how long you want it to rest. Wait until the sheet is flexible but not extremely floppy, and then go by feel. Lay it flat on the towel with care.
- Cover the lower third of the rice paper with a few pieces of butter lettuce, a tiny handful of rice noodles, some cabbage, and a few strips of carrot, cucumber, and jalapeno, leaving about 1 inch of open rice paper around the sides. Toss in a large amount of the herb mixture.
- Fold the bottom edge up over the fillings and roll up until the filling is completely encased. As though you were making a burrito, fold the short sides over. Last but not least, roll it up. Rep with the rest of the ingredients.
- To make the peanut sauce, follow these steps: Whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, tamari, honey, sesame oil, and garlic in a small bowl. To get a highly creamy but dippable sauce, whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water as needed.
- Serve the spring rolls with a side of peanut sauce. You can cut them in half on the diagonal with a sharp chef’s knife or serve them whole.
- NOODLE: I prefer whole grains wherever possible, therefore I used Annie Chun’s main brown rice noodles. At Whole Foods, I discovered them near the Asian ingredients.
- USE GLUTEN-FREE noodles and tamari (not soy sauce, which typically contains gluten).
- MAKE IT VEGAN: Instead of honey, use maple syrup.
- MAKE IT PEANUT-FREE: Instead of peanut butter, use almond butter or sunflower seed butter (if you’re not allergic to nuts).
- PREPARE IN ADVANCE: You may certainly prepare the peanut sauce ahead of time. You can also prepare the vegetables ahead of time, up to a day, and keep them in an airtight container (they will lose freshness with time). Because spring roll wrappers tend to dry up over time or after being cold, spring rolls should be assembled as soon as possible before serving. If you want to keep them fresh for an hour or two, place them at room temperature beneath a mildly moist, lint-free tea towel (the skin tends to harden in the refrigerator).