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veggie spring rolls with peanut sauce

Spring rolls have the old sushi magic whereby you can really stuff yourself and still feel light as air and like you’ve given your body pure nourishment. The thin strands of chewy rice (or mung bean) noodles, crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs and savory sweet peanut sauce combine for some pretty awesome soul food.

Spring roll Ingredients:

spring roll wrappers
Any of the following: rice noodles, rice sticks, rice vermicelli, mung bean thread noodles
Assorted fresh raw vegetables, sliced thinly such as: carrots, cucumbers, water chestnuts, bell peppers, mushrooms, spring onion
bean sprouts
Fresh mint, basil and cilantro
avocado sliced
tofu sliced
green leaf lettuce

spring rolls
spring rolls
rice sticks, rice noodles

1. Cook the noodles according to their instructions, drain and set aside to cool.

2. Wash and prep your vegetables. You can use whatever variation of vegetables you fancy. As a minimum, you should have noodles, green lettuce, tofu or avocado, a crispy vegetable and a couple leaves of fresh mint and basil.

3. Boil water, pour into a bowl and let cool. If it is hot the rice paper wrappers will practically melt. Have a clean plate in front of you as your ‘workbench’. Dip the wrapper into the water to coat, flip over and then shake off the water. This takes only a few seconds. (If the wrapper is already quite limp, sticky or mushy then you soaked it too long.) The spring roll wrapper should seem a little ‘undercooked’ when you take it out of the water. Don’t worry, in a few seconds it will be completely soft.

4. Place the wrapper on your plate, grab a small handful of rice noodles and set them in the middle of the wrapper. Layer your sliced vegetables and a piece of soft green lettuce over the noodles. Fold up the very bottom of the wrapper as though you were about to fold a burrito. Then take one side and fold it over, holding the filling tightly together, and continue to roll up the spring roll into a tight, neat little package. The top can be left open. *If you are using large spring roll wrappers, fold up both ends and then cut the roll in half to form two spring rolls.

5. Set aside and repeat until you have as many spring rolls as you like. Don’t worry if you are as crappy at this as I am! Practice, practice, practice.

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

I got this recipe from chowhound but there are many different variations. There is no need to buy a bottle of pre-made peanut sauce. Making your own is simple: dump all this into a bowl and whisk together with a fork. If there is any left it is delicious over cold noodles. Just like I used to have on my lunch break when I worked in a thai restaurant in Greenwich Village eons ago!

3/4 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter (I used sunflower seed butter)
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 1/2 medium limes)
4-5 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2-3 teaspoons chile-garlic paste (I used sriracha)
1 medium garlic clove, mashed to a paste (I forgot this step but will try it next time)
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil