A few years ago, a roommate from when I lived in Bogota, Colombia and her husband came to visit, and we went to our local international grocery store, Saraga. In addition to yummy Colombian treats, my friend found some spring roll wrappers and suggested that we make some spring rolls as an appetizer.
I had honestly never tried to make them before, and they were so easy to assemble!
We bought bean sprouts, carrots, Thai basil and peppers to stuff them with that night.
Since then, I’ve kept a pack of spring roll wraps (so many come in a pack!), and I get inspired every once in a while to make them.
I don’t know if there’s any specific way you’re supposed to do it, so I like to mix it up depending on the food I have on-hand.
The other day, we harvested some cucumbers from our garden, and I though “these will be so delicious in some spring rolls”. So I picked some stems of Thai Basil from our herb garden, cut up some chicken I had from the day before and found other miscellaneous ingredients in the kitchen.
It was a little tricky to assemble such a detailed meal with a toddler at my feet, but I loved doing it!
So, here’s how I make spring rolls.
Start out by getting all your ingredients together. For this I used:
– grilled chicken
– cucumbers sliced julienne style
– a few Thai basil leaves per roll
– green onions (I started with them cut long as in the picture below, but then realized as I bit into the first one that they don’t bite through easily. I ended up chopping them up for the rest, and that worked really well)
– rice noodles cooked in chicken broth
There are so many other ways you can make them! I like to think of it as a “veggie left-over” meal, especially because a few veggies go a long way.
– PB powder
– MCT oil
– Hoisen Sauce
– Sriracha Sauce
– red pepper flakes
You can also make these vegan by skipping the chicken broth and grilled chicken.
Soaking the rice paper
I soak one sheet at a time in a plate that has filtered water. I simply submerge the disk and wait about a minute or two. I like to wait until it’s transparent.
You want to soak the rice paper so that it is a little sticky but not super gelatinous. I usually can tell when it’s wet enough just by touching it.
I pull it out and place it on my “assembly plate” and stick another one in the “soaking plate”. By the time I’m done assembling one, the one soaking is usually ready to go.
Assembling the spring roll
I like to assemble them with the herbs on the bottom. So, I layer up, starting with a few leaves of Thai Basil, then a slice or two of thinly cut chicken followed by the veggies and a pinch of noodles (I usually use tongs to get them out of the bowl).
I still haven’t mastered getting a tight wrap, and I try to wrap them “burrito style”, folding two sides in first and then rolling, which I’m not sure is correct… lol!
Making the spicy peanut sauce
I’ve been experimenting lately with PB powder. My South American husband isn’t really a fan of peanut butter (gasp!), and the consistency I find at the store is just too sticky for the toddler. With the powder, I can use any liquid to make it the consistency I need, and I love it!
Here’s how I do it:
2 scoops of PB powder
1 tablespoon of MCT oil
1 tablespoon of Hoisin Sauce
1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce
1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
You can adjust that however you like for your particular tastes. I have friends who prefer to use crunchy peanut butter bc of the nice crunchy texture.
So, there you have it!
I’d love to hear how you make them!