Spring rolls are a snap to make once you get the basics down. You may have eaten them at an Asian take-out restaurant before, or have seen them on a buffet somewhere. They are light and fresh and can be filled with almost anything you like. I like to add whole grains like Bhutanese Red rice for an earthy, chewy texture which contrasts excellently against the succulent, salty-snap of fresh shrimp. I include powerfully nutritious green herbs in this recipe which will align well with your diet plans, and I hope you will make it and enjoy it.
You will need:
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons chili flakes (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil (toasted if you can find it)
- 4 each 8-inch diameter rice paper rounds (you can use brown rice rounds if you can find them)
- 1 cup cooked Bhutanese Red rice (cook per package directions)
- 2 1/2 cups of cole slaw mix prepared (you can find it at the grocery store and it has shredded cabbage and carrots)
- 1 small avocado halved and sliced
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh Thai basil (regular sweet basil will work if you cannot find Thai)
- 6 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 8 each cooked and peeled (deveined) shrimp (medium or large) cut in half horizontally
- To begin have a bowl or shallow dish of warm water with a splash of the rice vinegar on hand, as well as a clean dish towel or several layers of paper towels at the ready. You will soak the rice paper wrappers to soften them in the warmed water and lay them out on the paper or towel to drain off excess water.
- Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a little sesame oil until the sugar dissolves. This will serve as your dipping sauce, which you can divide into four small portions.
- Soften a spring roll wrapper until it is soft and pliable enough to wave gently in the liquid. Remove it to the towel gently, and add several slices of avocado, then two halves of shrimp. Next add some of the cole slaw filling and the green herbs.
- Leave about an inch and a half at the top of your spring roll and at the sides. Make sure you place the filling toward the bottom edge of the wrapper.
- Now fold the sides up and roll your wrapper like a burrito up and around the filling, pressing gently at the seam. Set your spring roll aside and finish the others in the same manner.
- When you have finished, slice each spring roll at the center in a diagonal slice.
You should have 4 servings of an appetizer portion of these delicious spring rolls. Now that you have the technique figured out the sky is the limit for what you can add. Steamed or grilled chicken slices and a creamy, citrus peanut sauce would be a filling treat, as would a spring roll chock full of crunchy veggies alone! If you cannot find fish sauce, or do not particularly enjoy it, feel free to omit it and instead substitute 1/8 cup tamari sauce with 1/8 cup of citrus juice; such as lemon, lime or orange, or even some stock if you have it handy.