DIY Spring Rolls

Hey guys!  Y'all know I love to bake, but ya can't live on cookies and power  bars unfortunately :(.  So that's why today, I've decided to share with you a savory recipe I'm REALLY into right now:  Spring rolls!  I had the privilege of learning how to make spring rolls from my friend's mom who is Lao.  It was really fun!  My spring rolls were not nearly as pretty as hers, but she gave me a good foundation to be able to successfully make spring rolls that were similar to hers on my own.

Lemme start off with this piece of info:  Don't confuse spring rolls with egg rolls.  Egg rolls are typically deep fried burrito-shaped bites that have egg and typically meat.  Spring rolls are much lighter and brighter:  they are cut up raw veggies and some sort of cut up protein rolled up burrito-style in a prepped rice wrapper and served with a killer sauce.  Here's some reasons I love spring rolls.

1.  They Pack in LOTS of Veggies
If you're following the recipe I'm giving you today, spring rolls are mostly glorified veggies.  Most people these days don't eat enough veggies, so spring rolls are a tasty way to pack in some raw, nutrient-packed veggies.

2.  They are Super Adaptable

Honestly, there's no big science to spring rolls.  All ya gotta do is prepare some rice wrappers, spoon in you fave mix of veggies/proteins, roll up, dip in a sauce, and enjoy.  That's it.  There's no measuring or rigid recipe you need to follow, so long as you soak the wrappers properly and put in the right amount of filling.

3.  They Bring People Together

I'm not saying this to be sappy, but making spring rolls is a great excuse to plan a party or get-together.  The other night, my parents and I had a blast making and eating spring rolls and it added a little bit of spice to everyday life.

4.   They Lay Off Some Meat

I'm by no means a vegan or vegetarian, but I dothink that eating less meat and more plants is good for you.  Don't get me wrong-  I LOVE some good steak, but I think that generally it's a good idea to eat lean proteins such as fish, poultry, and beans instead of a fatty cut of red meat.  That's what these spring rolls promote.  They're filled with oodles and oodles of veggies and a healthy amount of lean protein to round them out and give them a kick of umami.  Wondering what umami is?  Basically, it's the meatiness and fattiness of a food when you taste it.  See?  You learned something new today 😉.

Although there's no real recipe required to make spring rolls, I'm including one that I found on Sally's Baking Addiction just to give an idea of the amount of ingredients, you'll need.  Here's the link to the original recipe that I tweaked a bit:

 Spring Rolls
For the Peanut Sauce
  • 1/4 creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbs. gluten-free hoison sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 tsp. sriracha chile sauce
  • 1-2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • Water (to loosen the sauce if needed and/or desired)
1.      1.  Blend all the ingredients together until well-blended.  Feel free to increase or decrease any amount of the ingredients to your taste.
For the Spring rolls
  • 10 spring roll rice wrapper papers
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 1/2 of a large red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/3 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 oz. cooked rice noodles/rice vermicelli
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • 5 large butter lettuce leaves, torn in half
  • 1 lb. cooked meat of choice (I like ground chicken or ground turkey.)
  • Sweet chili dipping sauce from an Asian  market such as the Mae Ploy brand (optional but not really)
1.Pour warm water into a large bowl
2.Working with one rice paper wrapper at a time, dip it into the warm water for 10-15 seconds.  You want the wrapper to be soft , yet still slightly firm and pliable, not mushy in the least.
3.Immediately remove from the water and place flat onto a work surface such as a large plastic cutting board. 
4.Pat the wrapper slightly dry
5.Place some lettuce onto the bottom 1/3 of the wrapper.
6.Add all the rest of the ingredients, just a little of each.  Do not over-stuff the roll.
7.Roll everything up burrito-style as tight as you can.


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