my friend michelle’s yummy spring rolls: a fresh and light summer appetizer. the best thing about preparing these is that everyone can sit around the table and help make them– just lay the ingredients out in arms reach and you’ve got an instant spring roll party.
(excuse the poor quality of the photo, tough lighting, high ISO, you know how these things go).
there are lots of really easy recipes to follow for spring rolls, but this one had mango in it. of course, the fillings are optional, but some constants i’ve seen in the recipes are vermicelli noodles, cucumbers, carrots, mint and cilantro. i would definitely add lettuce. for protein you can use sliced chicken, pork, tofu, or shrimp (steam or grill those, then slice into strips).
Fresh Spring Rolls:
6 sheets of circular rice paper
15-18 cooked shrimp, depending on how big the shrimp are, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cucumber, seeded, sliced julienne (thin strips)
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots (I got a bag of it at TJ’s)
1 small yellow pepper, sliced julienne
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 hand full of rice noodles
1/4 cup mango, thinly sliced
hand full of mint leaves
Bring a kettle to boil. In a heat proof dish, pour the boiled water over the rice noodles and let them cook. It will take about 4-5 minutes. Take them out of the hot water and put in a dish to cool. In another circular dish large enough to hold the circular rice paper (I used a cake pan, but a pie plate works too), add some more of the hot water and let come to a temperature you can handle with bare hands. Have a clean tea towel layed out and all of your other vegetables/fillings you would like to put in the roll.
Soak the rice paper in the hot water for 10 seconds, no more or it will get mush on you. Take out the rice paper (it will still be a little firm) and place it on the towel. Add all the fillers you want in the middle of the circle, and wrap like a burrito** – the long side first, then the short sides and roll up as tight as possible.
**so, some of us have difficulty wrapping burritos…. ahem. that’s why i’ve included this handy dandy guide to rolling fresh spring rolls!
key to making these work is not letting the rice paper soak in water for long. in fact, i would recommend against hot water for the rice paper. it softens by the second, and by the time the roll is.. rolled, it will have absorbed all the necessary moisture.
-mung bean or other sprouts