I remember the first time I had spring rolls. It was a tragic experience. A shabby Vietnamese restaurant and tasteless rice paper rolls with tasteless shrimps inside. I did not come close to spring rolls for many years.
But as with almost everything, things deserve a second chance. And here we are today, me and vegetarian spring rolls, we are good buddies now.
These crunchy little things are full of energizing veggies, vitamins ad freshness. Plus they are really easy on your stomach if you should be considered about this fact. In the end, it’s just veggies.
And I am so proud of myself, because this one is a hell of a delicious peanut butter dip! It is tangy, nutty and a little bit spicy on one side and mild and soft on the other side. My best peanut butter dip so far (well, out of the three that I have ever made).
The dark tamarind dip I whipped up is also not bad ;) Fresh, zippy and fruity together with the soft peanut butter dip it makes the perfect addition for spring rolls! To die for!
Basically once you’ve eaten your first home made spring rolls in this constellation you are HOOKED.
Last but not least there is one more reason why you will love spring rolls. Maybe even the most important one.
You can put in them whatever you want to. Rice, tofu, chickpeas, potatoes or even fruits. Just think of using the rests in your fridge and voila. Creativity rules guys!
But be aware friends, spring rolls are not something to prepare in a hurry. It is more of a relaxing and cozy evening venture. So take some time to prepare the rolls, it’s Asian food in the end. Means what? Means you will have to practise your patience skills and maybe even do some meditation on the way.
So take it Chi Gong. Or Zen.
And one more thing to remember if you are a bloody beginner: do no expect too much of your rice paper rolling skills. It takes some trials until the perfect spring roll appears in front of your eyes (the perfection comes around the last piece…). So practise, practise, practise.
And now get the things rolling. And tell me about your outcomes, especially if it was your first time ;)
Ingredients (makes 9 or more, depending on how much you stuff inside)
2 peeled carrots
1 cup sprouts (mung beans or others that you like)
1 hand full of cilantro
Peanut butter dip
4 heaped tbsp peanut butter
5 tbsp soya sauce
2-3 tbsp water
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp shredded ginger
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp lemon grass (finely chopped)
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp soya sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove (pressed or finely chopped)
1 tsp agave syrup (or coconut sugar)
+ ca 9 rice paper sheets for the wraps
1. Veggies: chop them all into thin sticks and cut the avocado in ca 1 cm stripes. Put veggies, sprouts and the cilantro separate aside.
2. Peanut sauce: In a bowl blend together all the ingredients. Add some water if the paste is too thick or if you want it more fluid. Set aside.
3. Tamarind sauce: In a bow blend all the ingredients and set aside.
4. Rice paper sheets: Prepare a board or plate on which you can prepare the rolls. Put warm water in a wide bowl or a wide deep plate. Soak one rice paper sheet for around 1 minute until it becomes soft and pliable (watch out not to make it too soft, or it will tear!). If you have never done it before some practise will be needed (there is plenty of sheets in the package!). On about third of the sheet from the bottom place the ingredients and fold once gently over, then fold the edges into the middle and roll the wrap until it is closed. You can store one on top of each other, they will do just fine.
Probably your first rolls gonna be heartbreaking if you are a beginner, so no offence. You will get better with each and every roll, so do keep rolling. When you’re done serve them with the dips on the side and enjoy.
P.s. These little babies are best the same and on the next day and you can storage them best on a plate under a clear film. Enjoy!