This is one of those healthy vegan recipes that is so simple it makes me never want to pay for it in a restaurant. This Vietnamese fresh spring rolls recipe loads up on lots of fresh vegetables while making it fun with a delicious peanut dipping sauce.
I originally called it 'Thai fresh rolls', but I was told it is more Vietnamese. Not sure.
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Hello and welcome to Freshly Served, the healthy vegan cooking show. I’m Heather and tonight we’re making some fresh spring rolls with a peanut dipping sauce.
Now these are the kind of fresh rolls that your gonna see in a Thai restaurant with the rice paper wrap and just a whole bunch of raw vegetables inside and I like to do a peanut sauce there’s also a spicy chilli kind of sauce that’s more runny, it’s more of a clear sauce. I personally love the peanut sauce and that’s what I’m gonna do tonight.
And that’s what’s we’re gonna start with because let’s face it that’s where the yumminess comes in right? Ok! So I’ve got some peanut butter mix in a bowl with some untoasted sesame oil to start with.
Now you want to make sure you use the natural kind of peanut butter that’s unrefined and that has only ingredient that listed peanuts. You don’t need to add any salt or added sugar and the pre-blended kind of peanut butter have added oil which you don’t need. And also it’s not gonna work out as well for the texture. Not as healthy and not as good for what we’re doing.
So, ok! I’ve got the peanut butter mix in with some untoasted sesame oil until I get a texture that I like and we are gonna add a bit more liquid to this but this is basically where your gonna get the base of your dipping sauce.
And use an amount that is appropriate on how many rolls you are making. If you have left over sauce you can always use it for something else so I always tend to air on the side of too much rather than too little.
Next thing we’re going to do is add some toasted sesame oil for some flavor. This stuff has an amazing flavor but it’s very strong so you only need tiny little bit, put that in there and then I’m gonna use some tamari which is a fermented soy sauce.
Soy sauce you can use as well but fermented kind is much easier for your body to digest so if you can find some tamari I would recommend that over soy sauce. So stir that together and you might notice that it’s getting a little bit solid because the soy sauce is reacting with oil.
And then most of the time I put some vinegar in here. Brown rice vinegar is what is typically use, I’m using apple cider vinegar because I like it. I have a good source for it and I know that its unrefine and so on. So give that a good stir now the vinegar is going to cause things to separate a little bit but if you keep stirring, it will come back together.
So here is my sauce and you can see the texture there now I’ve use smooth peanut butter tonight but I love to do this with crunchy peanut butter. Phil is not much of a fan of that as I am but I love the crunchy bits.
Ok, the next and last thing I’m gonna add in here is a little bit of chilli, you can use chilli flakes or chilli paste and this is gonna be to your own preferences. I like a little bit of spice just to liven the sauce up but I don’t like too much because spicy stuff doesn’t do well in my system.
If you like really spicy put more in, if you don’t like spicy at all try it without you can always add some later. You cannot take it out though so be careful. Now in a sauce I would normally be adding salt, the reason why I’m not adding to this one is because I added soy sauce, tamari. That has lot of salt in it so I don’t need to add any actual salt to this.
So what I’ve got to work with today and the fillings can be pretty much whatever you like, that’s the nice thing about this recipe is you can put in whatever you want.
So I’ve got some grated carrots, I’ve got some green onion, I’ve got some lettuce, I’ve got some cucumber that I cut into Julianne strips. You can do the same thing with the carrots but I’ve gotten on to grating them because it’s a little bit softer and I’ve got some parsley, some flat leaf parsley. I don’t really like cilantro when it’s fresh so I use flat leaf parsley instead but if you like cilantro that is the traditional filling for this roll.
And then whatever else you want to improvise with that’s fine but basically what I want to show you tonight is how to roll the rice paper roll so I’m not too concern with the fillings.
So they come like this and what we’re gonna do is I’ve got a plate just like this. They break pretty easily so you wanna be careful with them and when they break you can’t really roll them so that one is pretty much done.
I’ll get a new one and then what I’ve got here is a plate that’s full with water and you need a plate that has a little bit of a curve to it otherwise it won’t hold the water and then what your gonna do is put this into the water and it takes a minute to soften it up.
So what I usually do is get one going, once its soft I transfer it here and start filling it and rolling it and while I’m rolling, our filling and rolling, I’m gonna take another one and put it into the water to start it softening so that I don’t have to wait for it again.
It only takes a couple of minutes and your roll should be able to crunch right up. I’m just doing that so that you can see how soft it is. You don’t need to do that. Ok? Then you gotta shake off any excess water, put it on your plate and I find that the plate is the best surface to roll on because it doesn’t stick.
And then get your next one going so that it’s soft by the time I’m done rolling this one. Ok! So like I said I like to use a plate I find the counter or cutting board are too sticky that when I roll it, it rips the paper whereas a plate is gonna be nice and soft.
So what I do is I take a piece of lettuce and I’m taking off that really stiff part of the stem, throw that in my compost, I’ll take some grated carrots and you wanna be making things in kind of long skinny strip in the middle of your roll.
Take a few strips of cucumber, couple bits of green onion and some parsley. Now the biggest mistake people often make is filling these things too full. If you do that it’s gonna be really difficult to roll, you’re gonna be frustrated. It’s not a good scene so start with as little filling as you can manage.
I often find it difficult to control myself because I love to shelve these things full of vegetables. Ok so how do we roll is we’re gonna fold both ends in like this. Take this back in over like so, all the way over the vegetables, press down and squish it back and then you’ll just keep rolling till the end of your paper.
Ok? So that’s what they should look like, they’re beautiful, you can see through them. If you want you can get some flat leaf parsley or cilantro on the outside and then you can see it through the paper.
And as you can probably tell these are white rice paper rolls and I have not been able to find any brown rice paper rolls otherwise that’s obviously I will use but when I feel with these guys is I can cram them full with vegetables.
The percentage of white rice on the outside is pretty small compare to how much vegetable I can put in here and it makes things really delicious for people who don’t normally eat fresh raw vegetables especially lettuce and sprouts.
People will often really enjoy this rolls even if they don’t like a salad so I think of them as like a treat and yes they are white refined rice but hey we don’t have to do things perfectly all the time, there are a lot healthy stuff going here otherwise.
Now when you first roll them they’re gonna come out and they’re gonna be a little bit slippery just leave them for a few minutes and they should get nice and tight on the roll.
This one is not perfectly tight if it takes a while of doing them before you get them really nice and tight so don’t give up, keep on going and then once you get them done, give them a little slice in half and you can put them on a plate make them look really nice and pretty with some sauce in the middle.
Prep Time: 20 min. Rolling time: 30 min. Time from start to eating: 50 min. Makes enough for about 10 rolls.