Recently my daughter came home for the weekend and brought five friends with her. The night they arrived I prepared an Asian inspired dinner for them. It included one of my very favorite appetizers- a real crowd pleaser – Asian Spring Rolls. Watch me demonstrate the preparation of the Spring Rolls on my You Tube channel.
They come from Kim Campbell’s phenomenal cookbook Plant Pure Nation. She is a very talented cook and she and her husband are the passionate force behind the film Plant Pure Nation that you can watch on Netflix. They sell Kim’s wonderful PlantPure Frozen entrees in a variety of places including Amazon.
This recipe takes a little bit of organization but is well worth the effort. I highly recommend watching my YouTube video for a tutorial on preparing the spring rolls. The first step is making the delicious peanut sauce. Often I’ll double or even triple the recipe and enjoy it as a salad dressing or over a Buddha bowl with grains, vegetables, and legumes.
The next step is preparing the bean noodles. They’ll be cooked according to the package instructions. In my case, the bean threads soften in boiling water for 20 minutes. Once softened I use one of my favorite utensils…a dedicated kitchen scissor. I find it easier to make the spring rolls when the noodles are shorter. Once cooked they are tossed with tahini and red pepper flakes. Here is a photo of the ingredients used in this step.
The third step is preparing the veggie filling which contains cucumber, carrot, red bell pepper, avocado, green onion, rice vinegar, agave nectar and lime juice.
Combine the vegetables in a bowl and then toss with the vinegar, agave and lime juice.
And then finally everything is assembled: the noodles, veggie filling, rice paper wrappers (I’m showing two different sizes- you chose which you prefer), some romaine leaves, cilantro and lime.
Shout out to my dad who gave me this freshly grown gift. It?s so nice to have fresh herbs on hand for these spring rolls.
When it comes to working with the rice wrappers, there’s a fine line between too hard to roll and unworkably flimsy like saran wrap. So here’s what I do. I fill a large bowl with very hot water, dip the rice paper wrappers until just softened. The hotter the water, the faster that happens. And keep in mind they will continue to soften once removed from the water. Just get started and your first few rolls can be experiments until you get the hang of it. Here is the part where it would be helpful to watch my YouTube video demonstration.
Now place the wet wrapper on a plate, lay down a small romaine leaf, some of the bean noodles, veggie filling, mint and cilantro.
To roll the wrapper, fold in the two sides and then roll from the bottom to the top. The filling will be nice and snug. Continue until all the filling is used. And here’s a tip. Keep the rolls in between wet paper towel in the fridge until you?re ready to eat them.
With this method, they will keep in the fridge for a day or two. I like to use the large wrappers if preparing spring rolls to be eaten as a main or side dish. If preparing appetizers, I like to use the small wrappers and when cut in half the spring rolls making fabulous one-bit appetizers.
And if you get fed up with rolling them before the filling is finished, just do what I did and throw everything together in a bowl and call it a Sesame Noodle Salad.
If using all of the filling, I find this recipe makes about 8-10 large spring rolls. A very large roll with peanut sauce has 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 22 mg calcium, 1 gram of iron and 158 calories. Enjoy!!
Asian Spring Rolls
- 2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter no added oils or sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 ounce bean thread noodles uncooked
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 dash red pepper flakes
- 1/2 medium cucumber julienned
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- 1/2 red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 avocado pitted and thinly sliced
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 8 rice paper wrappers
- 8 romaine leaves small and whole
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons mint leaves
- To make the sauce, combine the peanut butter, rice vinegar, agave, red pepper flakes and water in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
- To make the filling, cook the bean thread noodles according to the package directions. Drain the noodles, put them in a bowl, and toss with the tahini and a dash of red pepper flakes.
- Combine the cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, avocado, and green onions in a large bowl. Toss the veggies with the rice vinegar, agave and lime juice.
- To soften the rice wrappers, place hot water in a cake pan or large bowl. Immerse each wrapper in the hot water until it softens about 10 seconds. Place the wet wrapper on a plate or clean countertop. Fill the center of the softened wrapper by laying down one small romaine leaf. Then lay down 1-2 tablespoons of noodles and a small amount of the veggie mixture. Add cilantro and mint leaves.
- To roll up your rice wrappers, first fold in the right and then left side over the filling. Then fold the bottom up towards the top until closed and snug. Continue the process with each of the wrappers.
- As you finish each roll place it on a baking sheet covered with a damp paper towel. Cover the rolls with another damp paper towel. These will keep in the fridge for a day or so. If desired, slice each roll in half with a sharp knife, or serve the rolls whole with peanut sauce on the side.