As much as I love my comfort food, springtime brings out a lightness to my cooking that I really don’t think about in the ‘cold’ of winter (I don’t consider southern NC to be cold, being from Cleveland, OH!). After a hibernation of meat and bean chili, pasta, and nice hot blended soups, I made some Spring Rolls today for brunch. Keep reading, as these are easy to make, and are a beautiful presentation all by themselves! Healthy and tasty, you are only wrapping up ingredients you already enjoy.
The Asian continent has some of my favorite foods <3. I love the spices and freshness! 🙂 Here’s a little history on the beginning of the spring roll (I love ancient history and archaeology, as you’ll find out).
The spring roll has its start in China and has spread throughout the globe from Germany to Venezuela. It gets its name from the Chinese Spring Festival every year since ancient times. Make it for good luck all year long. 🙂 The first of the spring vegetables filled the rice papers.
Start off with some round rice paper. You can find these in your Asian dept. at the grocery store, or Amazon.com. They really do feel like hard stock paper! Very simple to get them ready to fill and wrap up.
FIRST though let’s get what you need for a filling. Use just about anything fresh or leftover, such as shredded chicken, cooked shrimp, salad, herbs, scrambled eggs..you can really be creative! Once you have the fillings out and ready, go ahead to the next step–a large bowl with hot water. Submerge one rice wrapper paper in it and hold on to one corner and count to 25. In the hot water it should be very pliable by now.
Gently use two hands to lay flat on a wooden cutting board. I find the board will not stick to the rice paper and works for me, though a plate might work just as well.
Now, simple fill lightly, as if a burrito, starting about a quarter of the way from the top. I used tempeh since I had some and my son doesn’t eat chicken or red meat. Also, cold soba noodles, carrots and some parsley from the garden pot. More color shows, so make them pretty!
All done! That’s it! Dip in a nice mixture of soy sauce, a splash of rice vinegar, a few drops of sesame seed oil and a hint of Thai chili sauce (only soy sauce works perfectly, too). As you can tell, I don’t measure much unless I’m baking.
You can make these ahead of time, refrigerate for two days max. I have heard you can freeze them without a problem. I haven’t done that yet.
Other ways to use the rice papers after wrapping your filling is frying lightly in a pan on all sides, but I have never done this yet.