Once again I am trying to duplicate something from my favorite Thai restaurant, Thai Phooket. But I love Spring Rolls, especially because they’re fresh and healthy and dipped in a sauce made from peanut butter and Asian spices! Um hello… speaking my language here.
I stumbled across the rice paper wrappers at Nashville’s downtown International Market. So I thought I’d give it a shot. After some online research (Have you checked out TasteSpotting?) I set out to wrap some veggie Spring Rolls.
Let me emphasize here how important it is to establish your mise en place. This process goes quickly once you start rolling the rice paper… so, as always, I suggest reading through the entire recipe before beginning. Once all your veggies and herbs are chopped and ready, make your peanut sauce… since spring rolls are best eaten immediately after being assembled. And you don’t want them sitting around getting soggy while making your sauce.
Yellow bell peppers
(all veg sliced julienne in the slimmest cut you can manage. Quantities vary based on how think you want your rolls to be. I suggest 1.5-2″ around.)
Rice paper wrappers
Fresh basil, mint and cilantro leaves – chiffonade cut
Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbs. rice vinegar
1/2 c. Tamari soy sauce
1-2 tbs. Siracha chili sauce (really however much or little you want)
1/2 c. peanut butter
juice of one lime
2 tbs. sesame oil
Julienne all of your veggies in long 2-3″ strips
Roll herb leaves together and slice into a chiffonade and set aside.
Get a fry pan or deep plate that’s at least 12″ across. Fill with warm (not hot) water. You will use this to soak your rice paper wrappers.
Ready to Cook (or rather, assemble)?
For the Peanut Sauce:
Put all sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. It should be creamy but not too runny. Be sure to taste and adjust accordingly. I like it spicier, you may like it more nutty.
For Spring Rolls:
Soak your rice paper sheets in the pan of warm water for roughly 15 seconds.
Begin layering your veggies and sprinkling the chiffonade of herbs across the veg. Once all your ingredients are stacked lengthwise, fold “burrito style” – i.e., Fold in the top and bottom of the roll, and then fold over one side, and roll tightly towards the other. The wrapper will stick to itself well and hold everything together. If your wrapper is drying and does not seem to seal tightly, dip your finger in water and paint over all the seams. Place seam-side down on plate. You can serve these whole (below) or cut in two (above)… which ever you prefer.
The Perfect Bite
Just drizzle a little peanut sauce into the roll and enjoy! TIP: if you spoon the sauce onto the cut roll verses dipping straight into the sauce, your roll will stay together better.
The Perfect Pairing
Yalumba makes an amazing little viognier… which is a white varietal that is similar to chardonnay, but not nearly as oak-y. Richer in musk and spice it’s a perfect balance for the crisp fresh vegetables in the spring rolls and is smooth enough to ease the heat of the peanut sauce.
The Perfect Health
These little beauties are so healthy! Not only are they packed with nutrients from the vegetables and herbs, but they’re a mere 63 calories per roll (95 calories if you add shrimp). Of course there’s 50 calories per tablespoon of peanut sauce… but it’s so rich it only takes a little. So enjoy!