My husband introduced me to Spring Rolls, and I am forever grateful. Isaac has a few Laotian family members who brought the spring roll making tradition to his family. So, he grew up making and eating them. Now, it’s part of our family tradition. So fun.
I love them – fresh, tasty and loaded with veggies and protein. They’re like any salad – you can pretty much do whatever you want with the ingredients to make it your own. Which makes it super fun. We stick to veggies, noodles and minced chicken.
The process takes a bit of time, with all the chopping and rolling. So, Isaac and I tag team, with a glass of wine in hand. On Sunday we made 16 spring rolls and have been eating them for the past few days – today we eat the last of them and I shed a silent tear. They’re so easy to take on the go and taste like a burst of freshness. I LOVE THEM. Here’s what we do…
- Package of rice paper
- Bunch of cilantro – flat leaves pulled from stems
- Bunch of Mint – chopped
- Chicken – cooked (obvi) and minced. I bought an organic rottiserie chicken to make things easy and tasty.
- Bunch of butter lettuce – cut into strips
- 2 large carrots – finely cut into strips
- 1 large cucumber – finely cut into strips. A julienne peeler works great!
- Package of bean sprouts
- 1/3 cup of peanuts – diced
- 2 sections/rolls/clumps of mung bean noodles (a.k.a. cellophane noodles)
- Prepare a large counter space for the whole situation. You’ll want it very clean if you plan on rolling the rolls directly on the countertop (that’s what I do.)
- Prepare all the fillings.
- Soak each piece of rice paper in water – I filled a big saucepan with a few inches of water and dipped each in the water.
- Place 2 pieces of rice paper on the countertop and layer the filling goodies.
- Roll that baby up!
- It might take a few tries to figure out how much of each ingredient works. We end up with a few huge fatties and a few skinny dudes before getting it just right.
A few notes:
- We like to dip our rolls in soy sauce and also peanut sauce. I’ve tried a few different peanut sauce recipes and my favorite is from Against All Grain’s Thai Crunch Salad (I use peanut butter instead of almond butter).
- When storing the leftovers, wrap the rolls in a wet paper towels to keep the rice paper from getting too hard.
- The mung bean noodles and rice paper may not be at your local grocery store. Lame. So, have a fun trip at the Asian market and buy lots for next time.
Many Vietnamese and Thai restaurants make Spring Rolls/Salad Rolls, but I’m partial to our homemade ones. Have you ever made spring rolls? What are your favorite fillings?