Fresh Spring/Summer Rolls

I adore Asian food. As one might have noticed.

This recipe is a variation on a classic: spring rolls. Actually, I think these might have a separate name – summer rolls – rather than just calling them unfried spring rolls.

I started with fresh veggies and herbs and ran from there.

Vegetarian Summer Rolls (makes 12 rolls)

12 sheets of rice paper
12 lettuce leaves (I used romaine; something a bit less firm would be great too)
1 bag of bean sprouts (about 2-3 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
24 mint leaves (or more if you’d like! this comes out to 2 leaves per roll)
24 garlic chives (or more)

1. Steam the bean sprouts and carrots for 2.5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Find a deep plate and pour water into it. This is for dipping the rice paper. You’ll want to do these one at a time as you make the rolls. Have all your ingredients set up to make the process easier.
3. Dip one sheet of rice paper in the water, making sure both sides get wet. Place the paper on a flat surface. Tear the lettuce so that it is in pieces no longer than 3 inches; place in the middle of the paper. Cover with a handful of sprouts and some grated carrot. Place 2 mint leaves and 2 chives on top.

4. Roll it up like a burrito, folding in the sides first and then rolling down the center. Leave the chives poking out if you like the way it looks.

Other optional ingredients:
2 large shrimp per roll (non-veg)
prepared vermicelli noodles
various fake meats (fake pork is especially tasty)

You can get all of these ingredients at your local Asian grocery. The mint, chives, and bean sprouts are all in the produce section; the rice paper will be with the noodles.

Simple Summer Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)

Mix together ingredients; stir well.

I may come up with a more interesting dipping sauce later, and it would have most of the following ingredients: soy sauce, peanuts or peanut butter, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, some tamarind juice, and maybe a dash of spicy chili powder. Suggestions are welcome 🙂

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