Even the most passionate home cook can feel less-than-inspired after a long day of work, shuttling kiddos to day camp and other summer activities, or just being in the heat all day. Rather than grabbing take-out, try this healthy and simple recipe.
Spring rolls make a wonderful summer dinner because they require little to no cooking and are highly customizable. In the warmer months, my husband and I eat spring rolls at least once a week. I like to put out all the ingredients in the middle of the table so each of us can assemble our own spring rolls – just the way we like them.
- Be sure not to overstuff the spring roll as it may tear as you roll it. Less is more.
- For a visual on how to roll a spring roll, check out this short video
- If you want to avoid cooking in the evening, just pre-cook your rice noodles in the morning and keep in the fridge. Give them a rinse before serving.
- Don’t be daunted if this seems complicated, after a couple tries, you’ll be a pro!
- Rice Paper Wrappers (these are my favorite)
- Rice Noodles (rice sticks or vermicelli both okay)
- Tofu, fried or uncooked
- Assorted raw veggies such as lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts and avocado
- Fresh herbs such as cilantro, mint, basil, chives and green onions
- Rice Noodles: Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Strain and run under cold water to stop cooking process and keep noodles from sticking together.
- Tofu: If desired, slice tofu into ¼ inch strips and saute on medium heat in oil with high smoking point. Place on paper towels to blot oil and allow to cool. (You can also use the tofu uncooked.)
- Veggies: Chop vegetables into matchsticks or thin strips. Lettuce and herbs do not need to be chopped, they can be torn when ready to use.
- To Assemble: Put all spring roll fillings on trays or in bowls on the table. Fill up a large bowl with lukewarm water for dipping rice paper in. Dip rice paper in water, rotating to ensure all rice paper has been submerged. Put on plate. (Don’t worry if it’s still stiff, it will soften as you add the ingredients.) Add toppings – and be sure not to overstuff! Fold in the corners first, then roll the wrapper.
- Enjoy: Dip in your favorite dipping sauce (see some options below.)
There are lots of different dipping sauces out there for spring rolls, but if you want to keep it really simple, pick up some store-bought peanut sauce (or other dipping sauce). My favorite is Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette, which is kept in the refrigerated section near the lettuce.