Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Loaded with fresh vegetables and rice noodles, these Vietnamese spring rolls are a refreshing healthy appetizer for an Asian-inspired meal or great for just a light lunch-time snack.


Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients          Makes: 12 spring rolls          Time: 1 hour  30 minutes
~Spring Rolls~
2 ounces rice vermicelli
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup lettuce leaf, ribs removed
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or julienne
1 cucumber, thinly sliced or julienne
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced or julienne
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced or julienne
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, de-stemmed ~or~ fresh parsley leaf
1/4 cup fresh mint leaf
12 sheets rice paper (spring roll wrappers)
~Peanut Sauce~
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice vinegar ~or~ white vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup ~or~ liquid honey
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 to 3 Tbsp purified water, as needed

Prepare vermicelli noodles. Add a few cups of purified water to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. Cook the noodles just until al dente, according to package directions; should only take a few minutes. While cooking the noodles, stir and separate them with a fork for even cooking.

When ready immediately drain the hot water and rinse the noodles using a fine mesh sieve under cool water until they are cool to stop the cooking process. Add a teaspoon of sesame seed oil and a shake of sea salt to the noodles and gently toss to prevent them from sticking together; set aside.

Prepare peanut sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the creamy peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil and garlic. Whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water as needed to make a creamy but dip-able sauce.

Prepare spring roll vegetable ingredients. Clean the lettuce leaf and remove the ribs. Peel the carrots and then julienne or cut into matchsticks about 2-inches long. Peel the cucumber and then cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and pump with a spoon and discard. Julienne the cucumber into 2-inch lengths. Remove the seeds and pulp from a bell pepper and also cut into 2-inch thin strips. Remove the seeds and pulp from the jalapeño peppers and cut into very thin 1-inch strips. De-stem the cilantro and/or parsley herbs; as well the mint. When all the ingredients are ready it is time to prepare the wraps.

Prepare rice paper wraps and make the spring rolls. Fill a shallow pan (a pie pan or 9-inch round cake pan works good) with an inch of purified water. Organize a work area to place a wet rice wrapper and make the spring rolls; a wooden serving board works well.

Place one rice paper in the water and let it rest for about 20 seconds or until the sheet is pliable but not super floppy. Carefully lay it flat on the board or work-area.

Leaving about 1-inch of open rice paper around the edges, cover the lower third of the paper with a piece of lettuce, followed by a small handful of rice noodles, a few strips of carrot, cucumber, bell pepper and jalapeño; then lastly top it with the fresh herbs. It is optional to also dribble a little bit of the peanut sauce over the ingredients before the wrap is rolled up.

Fold the lower edge up over the fillings carefully so not to rip the wrapper, rolling upward just until the filling is compactly enclosed. Fold over up to 1-inch of the sides over towards the center of the wrap. Then lastly, roll up the wrap tight. Repeat with the remaining wraps and ingredients.

Serve and enjoy. Serve the spring rolls with the peanut sauce on the side. They can be served whole or sliced in half. The wraps are sticky and will stick to each other and other surfaces so keep the outside of them moist or even lightly rubbed with olive oil. The wraps are best made to be eaten right away but if you are making them ahead of time, cover them with a clean damp towel to keep them moist. If the wraps begin to harden, you can re-soften them with a little water. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Nutritional Information

~This recipes is an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate.

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