A healthful alternative to deep-fried spring rolls, salad rolls are traditionally made with herbs, pork and/or shrimp and vermicelli noodles. Of course, I have omitted the meat, but it’s one of those dishes that bears experimentation well.
These tasty little numbers were inspired by the need to jazz up a dinner of stirfry leftovers. I like to think they classed up the feast nicely. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of using rice paper – it’s really quite easy once you get used to it. I find the following method works perfectly for me.
- Prep your filling. There are countless combination to try, but I’ll give the recipe for this particular version below.
- Fill a large shallow dish with hot tap water – don’t use boiling water, your rice paper will disintegrate. You’ll probably have to replace the water every 2-3 wraps, but I find it’s worth it to have better control of the temperature.
- Lay out a clean tea towel.
- One at a time, submerse the rice paper sheets in the water. Gently rotate and smooth out the sheets until softened. The ones I get are textured, and I find that they are ready as soon at the texture has disappeared.
- Lay out the paper on your tea towel, trying not to let it fold over itself. If it does, gently try to straighten. If it continually rips, you’re probably softening them a little too much.
- Place a small mound of filling at the end closest to you.
- Roll the end facing you over the filling once, then carefully fold the sides over towards the middle, so the edges align with the edge of your filling. Continue rolling away from yourself until you have a beautiful little package of neatly rolled deliciousness!
Ingredients: (Makes 8 rolls)
8 rice paper rolls (maybe a couple extra in case of mistakes!)
¼ English cucumber, peeled, and cut lengthwise into 8 strips
3 baby carrots, grated
1 cup bean sprouts
¾ cup cooked vermicelli (rice) noodles
2 green onions, chopped
(Although I didn’t use them here, adding fresh basil and cilantro makes for an authentic touch)
juice of ½ lime
tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp garlic powder, ginger, and basil
Lightly chop bean sprouts and fry in a little coconut oil, until they begin to soften. ( I imagine you could use them raw, I simply prefer cooked ones)
Add cooked sprouts to cooked noodles, and toss in dressing until covered (don’t overdo it, you probably won’t need quite all of the dressing.)
Add an 1/8 of the noodle-bean mixture to the softened rice paper. Lay a cucumber stick on top, and cover with shredded carrot and the green onion. Follow rolling instructions above. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
How freaking easy was that?!
If you’re lazy, you can dip them in hoisen sauce, or even plum sauce… But I highly recommend you take the couple minutes to make the following dipping sauce.
2 TBS Hoisen sauce
2 TBS Peanut butter
Any of the remaining soy-lime dressing left over from before
1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tsp finely chopped peanuts
Mix well and serve!
Inspired by: Rhonda Parkinson via about.com