Thursday, August 7, 2008

Veggie Spring Rolls - Reader Request

Thank you Jill for this request because it was a tasty one.

Jill requested a spring roll recipe that had some pretty rigorous requirements. Jill can’t have wheat, dairy, onion, yeast, corn, beet sugar, and turkey. I read the e-mail and kept thinking, “I can’t do this. This is beyond my abilities to figure this one out.” And I will be honest, I put it off. But yesterday morning I was on my daily walk/run/daily shake down and I said to myself, “Self, let today be spring roll day. Finish up your research and get to the grocery store. Poor Jill has waited long enough!” So I did it. Jack went to run errands and have lunch with Ethan, so I could really focus. And let me tell you, navigating the Asian food section at my Albertson’s takes focus!

After getting all my spring roll ingredients (along with some tahini which means I will be making some freaking hummus soon. Yeah.), I got through the check out and headed home. I fed Van and got to work. I set everything out and tinkered with all the recipes that I had printed out. I combined a little of this one and a little of that one and added my own things here and there. And well, Jill, I think I did it and I think you are going to like it.

There is a downer though. You wanted them to be like Engine Co #28 in LA because they are baked and not fried. Well, I have figured out that they were baked because they were made with egg roll wrappers, which have wheat in them. Since you wheat days are over and rice wrapper days are in, they can’t be baked. And yes, I tried and it was a giant mess. That is what is so great about this Reader Request thing, I make the mistakes for you! Anyways, they can’t be baked, but that makes them that much easier to make.

Jill, I hope you enjoy these. I sure have. These are so easy and have quickly become a favorite around here. Thanks for the request!

1 package rice vermicelli or rice sticks
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
¼ cup finely shredded carrot
1 cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1½ tsp sesame oil
½ Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp chile sauce
1 package rice spring roll wrappers

Fill a medium sauce pan with water and set to high. Once boiling, turn the heat off and add the rice vermicelli. Let sit, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, cucumber, green onions, cilantro, ginger root, garlic, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and chile sauce. Mix well to combine. Set aside.

For the spring roll wrappers, fill a pie pan or shallow dish with hot water. Place one wrapper disk in the water and let soak for 15-20 seconds, or until the wrapper is soft and pliable. Remove from water and put in between a wet tea towel and press down until wrapper is not wet, but sticky.

Place wrapper on a large plate or cutting board. Take a small amount of rice noodles and place in the middle. Add a small amount of the cabbage mixture. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling, being sure to tuck it underneath the filling. Fold the sides over and then roll everything all the way up to the top.

Want a dipping sauce? These two looked good to me.

Garlic-Soy Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon hot sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch of sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot chile oil
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth, add cilantro just before serving.

Yields 12 rolls.

Rookie’s Notes: Get the bags of pre-shredded carrots and cabbage for a short cut. Also, if you are shrimp fan like me, add some shrimp. Make sure they all small. I used 61-70’s.


Jill said...

Wow. Those look soooo good! I'm beyond excited to try them. Wish me luck in navigating the Asian food section at my local TJs/Henry's! (I'll let you know how it goes...)

Thanks for all your research!

cat+tadd said...

Weird, I know another Jill that can't have all those foods. Eerie!

Valerie said...

I love to cook and am tickled Lindsay posted your site on her blog.....I will be trying these tonight!

Me said...

I just discovered your blog today (looking for mango upside down cake recipe). I love to cook veggie spring rolls. Because all the veggies are cooked before I wrap them (regular egg roll wrappers), I can freeze it and bake or fry it when I need it. I also love to use bean sprouts and chayote.

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am excited to try your sauce.