What’s incredibly easy to love, amazing Asian, and amazingly easy to make? Spring rolls!
You can’t go wrong with these very low in fat and calories finger-snacks! Since the season for local Farmer’s Markets are just around the corner, it is an ample opportunity to buy and use the freshest ingredients available. The beauty of spring rolls is that you can use just about any ingredients you want. Ready-made wrappers such as the ones I used for this recipe are readily available in Asian markets and the Asian section of most supermarkets. I’ve also made an easy and delicious dipping sauce! However, if you just want to venture into bottled dipping sauces, they are also readily available in Asian markets and the Asian section of most supermarkets.
Yields approximately 18 spring rolls (when cut in half)
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons fermented fish sauce (Any brand)*
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño chili with seeds
- One package 8-9-inch round rice-paper sheets*
Filling (Note–consider most ingredients below as mere suggestions for a making of a typical spring roll; You may choose to omit some, add something else, etc. IT’S YOUR CALL):
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup small fresh basil leaves (optional)
- 1 cup finely shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts or daikon (Japanese white radish) sprouts
- 1 cup matchstick-size strips seeded English hothouse cucumber
- 1 cup matchstick-size strips peeled carrot or jicama
- 8 ounces cooked peeled de-veined medium shrimp, cut lengthwise in half
For dipping sauce:
- Whisk all ingredients in a medium-size bowl until sugar dissolves. Let stand at least 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
For rice-paper rolls:
- Place a rice-paper sheet in large bowl (I used a pie dish since it is well-rounded); add enough hot water to cover. Let stand until softened, about 15-20 seconds. (Sheet will still be stiff in a few spots).
- Remove from water; blot on a tea/ or clean kitchen towel.
- Divide half of mint, cilantro, and basil among softened rice-paper sheets, arranging in line across lower third of each sheet and leaving 1-inch border on each end.
- Top with half of the shredded lettuce, sprouts, cucumber, carrot, and shrimp [REMEMBER MOST OF THESE INGREDIENTS ARE SUGGESTIONS].
- Fold bottom of each rice sheet over filling, then fold in ends and roll into tight cylinder.
- Place rolls, seam side down, on platter. Repeat soaking with remaining rice-paper sheets, then top with remaining filling to form 6 more rolls. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover with damp paper towel and plastic wrap; chill.)
- Cut each roll diagonally in half.
- Arrange on platter and serve with the dipping sauce (as pictured).
*Available at Asian markets or Asian market aisle of most supermarkets.