Spring Rolls....not pretty but tasty!




In my opinion spring rolls are the perfect summer meal. Easy and refreshing. I like to make my filling ahead of time and roll right before I'm ready to eat.

Yeah mine aren't photogenic but I haven't made these since last summer and need to get my "rolling mojo" back. Seems the first few aren't pretty but with practice it becomes second nature. I really meant to post this last summer. I have other recipes I can post at a later date.

For how to prepare the rice papers scroll to the bottom of the page. I pour hot water on a plate and use that to soak my papers. I also wasn't really careful about how I put the ingredients in. The most important part is to have a mis en place.

The rolls I made today are the Shrimp Rolls with Chili, Garlic, and Lime Dipping Sauce. I had extra ingredients and combined them with some of the sauce for a spring roll salad for tomorrows lunch. I also stuck a few cloves of my black garlic in one of them and that took the flavor to a whole new level.

From the May 2007 issue of Women's Health and Fitness magazine.


Shrimp Rolls with Chili, Garlic, and Lime Dipping Sauce
Mint leaves and crunchy bean sprouts make a great combo with sweet and tender shrimp.

Dipping sauce
2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (I used Huy Fong brand. 2 TBS makes it really hot so adjust if you're a wimp)
2Tbsp Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
1/4 c fresh lime juice
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

Roll
12 jumbo shrimp, shells and tails removed
4 oz rice stick noodles
8 large rice paper wrappers
16 large mint leaves, rinsed and patted dry
2 c bean sprouts, rinsed and patted dry
8 small leaves Boston lettuce, rinsed and patted dry, hard stems removed

1. In small bowl, whisk together all dipping sauce ingredients. Set aside.
2. Bring saucepan filled with water to boil. Add shrimp and noodles and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Cut shrimp in half lengthwise. Set aside.
3. Prepare rice paper.
4. Place two mint leaves on lower third of wrapper and top with three shrimp halves. Lay cup noodles over shrimp. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons sprouts. Fold one lettuce leaf and place on top.
5. Roll. Repeat until all wrappers and ingredients have been used.
6. Cut each roll in half. Serve immediately.

Per roll: 96 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 538mg sodium, 17g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 4g protein

Veggie Rolls with Mango-Ginger Dipping Sauce
A sweet-and-sour sauce tempers the spicy radish sprouts in this produce-packed roll. Can't find mango fruit spread? Try apricot, peach, pineapple, or plum instead.

Dipping sauce
4 Tbsp mango fruit spread
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
1/4 tsp hot sauce
Finely grated peel from 1 small lime

Roll
8 large rice paper wrappers
1/4 c cilantro leaves, rinsed and patted dry
3 oz Thai-style baked tofu (such as White Wave or Wild Wood), thinly sliced
2 c radish sprouts
1/2 c shredded carrots
16 snow peas, rinsed and patted dry, ends trimmed
8 small, tender leaves Boston or romaine lettuce, rinsed and patted dry

1. In small bowl, whisk together all dipping sauce ingredients. Set aside.
2. Prepare rice paper
3. Place two to four cilantro leaves on lower third of wrapper and cover with two or three tofu slices. Top with cup sprouts, 1 tablespoon carrots, and two snow peas. Fold one lettuce leaf in half and place on top.
4. Roll. Repeat until all wrappers and ingredients have been used.
5. Cut each roll in half. Serve immediately.

Per roll: 67 calories, 2.5g fat (0g saturated), 137mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 3g protein

Cucumber and Soba Noodle Rolls with Sesame-Peanut Dipping Sauce
Just like your favorite cold sesame noodle takeout -- only healthier. Broccoli sprouts' natural nutty flavor mixes perfectly with the peanut sauce. This version uses less fat (a little sesame oil goes a long way).

Dipping sauce
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp honey

Roll
4 oz soba noodles
8 large rice paper wrappers
2 c broccoli sprouts
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut into 8 7-inch spears
8 scallions, rinsed and patted dry, ends and tops trimmed

1. In blender or food processor, blend all dipping sauce ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
2. Bring saucepan filled with water to boil. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside.
3. Prepare rice paper.
4. Place cup sprouts on lower third of wrapper. Lay cup noodles over sprouts. Top with one cucumber spear and one scallion.
5. Roll. Repeat until all wrappers and ingredients have been used.
6. Cut each roll in half. Serve immediately.

Per roll: 115 calories, 5.5g fat (0.5g saturated), 289mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 4g protein

Watercress and Poached Chicken Rolls with Curry Dipping Sauce
The alfalfa sprouts add a fresh edge to this kicked-up variation of chicken salad. If you don't have time to poach, cheat with rotisserie chicken.

Dipping sauce
1/4 c Greek-style low-fat yogurt
3 Tbsp low-fat coconut milk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp hot curry powder
Salt to taste

Roll
1 chicken breast (7 oz)
1 3-inch knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 dried Thai chilies (or other hot varieties)
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic
8 large rice paper wrappers
2 c watercress
2 c alfalfa sprouts
1/4 c thinly sliced red onion, cut lengthwise
1/4 c matchstick-cut Granny Smith apple

1. In small bowl, whisk together all dipping sauce ingredients. Set aside.
2. Fill saucepan with water. Add chicken, ginger, chilies, vinegar, yellow onion, and garlic and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from poaching liquid and let cool, then shred into large pieces.
3. Prepare rice paper.
4. Place cup watercress on lower third of wrapper. Top with cup sprouts and a few pieces of chicken. Sprinkle with red onions and apples.
5. Roll Repeat until all wrappers and ingredients have been used.
6. Cut each roll in half. Serve immediately.

Per roll: 53 calories, 2g fat (0.5g saturated), 21mg sodium, 2g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 7g protein


Rolling tips:

For easy rolling, avoid paper labeled "thin" or "mong," says Andrea Nguyen, author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.

To get rice paper ready for wrapping, first fill a shallow bowl with hot water. Dip one sheet at a time until it becomes pliable (about 5 seconds). Lay the wet wrapper on a damp towel and let it rest a few seconds until it's soft and slightly tacky.

Follow Nguyen's three-step process to turn a heap of ingredients into an easy-to-handle appetizer.

1 Place the filling on the lower third of the rice paper, an inch or so from the edge.

2 Fold up the bottom end over the filling.

3 Tuck in the sides toward the center and roll upward tightly.

4 comments:

Tangled Noodle said...

I love spring rolls! Filipino rolls tend to be deep-fried (although there is one 'fresh' version that's also tasty); I could eat this as an entire meal. I love your variations and the tip on softening the rice papers (which has always been my problem). Thanks for sharing!

Lynne said...

Excellent post! I'm gonna try these, the Vancouver Airport has the best spring rolls, I always get the shrimp ones when I'm there!

Angelica said...

The spring rolls look lovely! I will absolutely try these. Have tried to make spring rolls with rice paper before but found it a hassle as I tore every single sheet... Do you have any tips on how to keep them intact?

Angelica said...

Oh, I obviously did not read the entire post! Thanks for a great blog!