Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Make Spring Rolls

I love eating spring rolls - something about them makes me feel like I'm being super healthy. And what's not to love? Fresh veggies & flavor with none of the deep-fried guilt. Since we'd never tried them before, I was keen to give it a try. The first round we did was the Wintery Spring Rolls from 101 Cookbooks. Holy wow, these were amazing! I made a simple peanut dipping sauce to go with them. If you have a little time and a mortar and pestle, I highly recommend giving her recipe a try. If not, then proceed with the below!

I realized that once you have the technique down, you can stuff them with whatever you like. So, here's what we did to create our own version with what we had on hand with the fridge. Just make sure you have:
  • one protein (such as shrimp or tofu)
  • fresh herbs (I use a mix of cilantro/basil/mint depending what I have on hand)
  • crisp veggies (like grated carrots, lettuce mixes, etc.)
  • optional: roasted/sauteed veggies for added flavor (such as squash or mushrooms)
  • optional: sauce
  One more note - mis en place is crucial for this. In other words, make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and out so that you can have a quick assembly line.

Tofu and Butternut Squash Spring Rolls

8 rice paper wrappers
1 12-ounce block extra firm tofu
1/4 cup soy ginger sauce (or any other Asian sauce you love)
1 cup roasted squash cubes or sticks
1/2 cup roasted bell pepper
1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
1 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup cilantro
8 basil leaves

Pat the tofu dry with paper towls and cut into 6 slabs. Brush on your sauce liberally on all sides. Heat a non stick skillet to medium high and spray with cooking spray. Cook tofu until golden brown on each side. Remove and let cool slightly, then cut each piece into 3 long slabs.

Fill a large baking dish or bowl with warm water. Dip the rice paper in for 3-4 seconds (no longer!) then set on a clean surface. In the middle off to one side, layer in 2 slabs of tofu and add a stick or two of squash, a couple bell pepper slivers, 2-3 mushroom slices, 3-4 green leaves, a sprinkle of carrots and cilantro and a basil leaf. Starting on the short side, begin rolling the spring roll. After one full rotation, fold int he sides and continue rolling until tight. Continue with the remaining spring rolls. 

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (I did a version of my peanut sauce that I do for Asian noodle salads). If you're bringing some for lunch the next day, I recommend wrapping each one individually in wax paper and securing with a bit of tape to prevent sticking to each other.


Bun Baker said...

Yum, looks good! Loving all the Asian meals you are making. This is on the list!

Apron Adventures said...

Thanks! I've been inspired by our recent forays into Chinatown and the fact that so many Asian meals are dairy and meat-free :)

Jennifer said...

I tried them! They came out great!

Apron Adventures said...

I'm so glad you tried them and it was a success!