Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brown Rice Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

I've had this package of spring roll wrappers in my kitchen cabinet for months now,  being slightly intimidated by the process of making spring rolls,  I've been avoiding them.  But, really, how hard can it be?  It's spring now and the weather is warm, so I've run out of excuses like "the weather is too cold for spring rolls".  I was especially excited about these wrappers because they're made from whole grain brown rice rather than white rice, as are most wrappers.  

My worries as to the difficulty of the project were unfounded, spring rolls are really easy to make.  The most difficult part is deciding what to put into them.  You can get creative and put just about anything kind of veggies in there that you like.  I chose to fill mine with baked tofu, spring onion greens, carrots, sunflower sprouts, kelp noodles and cilantro.  You could also include slices of cucumber and bell peppers.

It's best to prep the filling first before you wet the wrappers.  These wrappers are 9 inches in diameter so you'll want to cut your veggies and tofu into 4 inch strips.  Once everything is cut and ready, you can dampen the wrappers, one at a time. They come dry and stiff like a plastic disc.  You'll need a shallow baking dish or frying pan to fill with warm water.  It needs to be big enough to dip the whole wrapper in at once.  Just dip the wrapper so that it's submerged in water and take it out immediately.  It will appear to still be too stiff but it will soften up.  If you leave it in the water, it will get too soft and break apart.

Put the dampened wrapper on a flat surface and fill it with your veggies.  I started with a base of kelp noodles, topped with sprouts, onion, carrot, tofu and cilantro.

Fold over the top and the bottom.

Next, fold over one side.

Then, gently but firmly roll the whole thing up to encase the veggies.

A delicious peanut dipping sauce is a necessary part of the spring roll experience.  You can make it before you cut your veggies.  The spring rolls will keep for several days wrapped in plastic in your refrigerator but I doubt that they'll make it that long.

Brown Rice Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
12 Spring Rolls - Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

For the Spring Rolls:
12 brown rice spring roll wrappers
12 oz package kelp noodles
6 oz package baked tofu (I use Wildwood)
6 oz sunflower sprouts
4 carrots
1 bunch spring onion greens
1 bunch fresh cilantro

For the Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons water (or more if needed)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon agave or honey
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl with a whisk.  Add a little more water if necessary to make a smooth sauce.

Dip a spring roll wrapper in warm water just to dampen and shake off excess water
Lay wrapper on a flat surface and layer filling in the middle.
Fold over top and bottom of wrapper.
Fold over one side.
Gently but tightly roll the wapper up.
Serve whole or sliced in half with peanut sauce.

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