Has spring arrived in your town yet? We’ve been seeing a lot of sun and the temperature has slowly been rising (almost up to 40°!) and all of us are eager to eat fresh, raw foods on a daily basis. Spring rolls are the perfect food to get you feeling like warmer days are already here.
I love spring rolls, but I’ve always been too intimidated to try making them. The wrappers seem so finicky and fragile, and I already know I’m terrible at wrapping based on my burrito experience. On top of that, all of the recipes I found online seemed overly complicated for something so unassuming. After a little practice, I’ve found a great method of making them, even on a day when I don’t feel like cooking.
There are so many benefits to making spring rolls.
First off, they’re super cheap to make. Just grab a few fresh veggies, like carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, sprouts, or cucumber. Toss a small head of cabbage in your cart and you’re good. If you want to add tofu, I would suggest super-firm, high-protein tofu that doesn’t need to be drained/pressed. (You can find this at Trader Joe’s for cheap!) You can use leftover veg & tofu in your fridge, even.
The only “specialty” item you’ll need to get is the rice paper wrappers - I got mine in the international aisle of the grocery store by the “Asian” section. If you’ve ever had rice noodles, they’re basically the same thing but in a sheet. Once hydrated they’re soft and chewy but not heavy.
Other great things about these:
- They’re really filling, despite the salad-like composition.
- They’re easy to make for a party, like pizza or tacos or sushi. They invite customization and participation!
- We rarely tout this, but they’re pretty healthy for you, too, depending on what you put in them.
So, how do you make them? This is how WE make spring rolls, but there are many ways to do it - I just found this to be the easiest way.
- Prep all of your fillings. Thinly slice the harder vegetables (like carrots & cucumber), crumble the broccoli & sprouts, shred the cabbage, slice up some super-firm (high protein) tofu.
- Put a wide pot or pan of water on medium-high heat - make sure it’s wider than the sheets of rice wrapper.
- Lay out something non-stick on the counter to keep the wrappers from sticking & breaking. I like to use the un-used outer leaves of the cabbage, but you can also use a sushi mat or a damp cutting board.
- When the water is hot, not boiling, gently place the wrapper in the water. Get it submerged fully and then immediately take it out again, transferring it to the counter.
- Gently lay the wrapper flat out. It will probably stick to itself, but when it’s still wet you can carefully pull it apart. Then, like a burrito, put your fillings on, being careful not to over-fill.
- Fold the top and bottom of the wrapper over the filling, then carefully roll and tighten it as you go, until the whole thing is closed. This may take some practice, but I would just suggest taking your time. If the wrapper starts tearing, you might be tightening the roll too much. (Luckily the paper packages usually come with a lot of wrappers!)
Make the rolls until you have enough for however many people you’re serving. Usually 2-3 rolls are enough for even very hungry people.
Now’s the time to mix together your dipping sauce. To me, spring rolls are made amazing by their relationship to their sauce. You can make it by whisking together 2 tbsp vegan mayo, 1 tsp sriracha, and 1/4 tsp wasabi. Another good sauce option is 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp sriracha, and some liquid smoke.
We hope you guys enjoy making spring rolls as much as we do, and enjoy them as spring finally comes back!