To make these, you'll need some fresh spring roll wrappers. These are not the same as egg roll wrappers that you find in the refrigerator section of your supermarket. You'll likely find these at an oriental market. I love them because they are a healthy alternative to fried egg rolls. Not that the taste can be compared though. They are both really yummy!
My favorite brand to get is the kind that comes in a round plastic container. These wrappers are very thin and fragile and I find that if you get them in this kind of container they prevent chipping and easier to manage.
This time, I just wanted to use my two favorites, carrots and cucumbers and some cilantro. I hope the pictures are somewhat helpful!
First, I boil some water about 1 cup and pour it into my pan. I use an old toaster oven roasting tray. It's the biggest thing I have that fits the spring roll skins in.
I usually add a little cool water to the boiling water and set it aside. Not too hot that I can't put my hands in, but not too cold either. It won't hurt it but it will take longer to soak. If the water is too hot, it makes the skins sticky and hard to manage. I did find that when I lay it on the cutting board to wrap, if it sticks too much, I simply get my hands wet or dunk it again. Otherwise, it gets all tangled on itself and makes a mess.
I chop up my veggies and set them aside. I like to julienne my veggies. Here is a nice video showing how to do it. I tried shredding the vegetables once but they were too juicy and I like the texture that the julienned ones give. After my veggies are set aside, I wash my cilantro and pluck the leaves off. I don't like the taste of the stems. Then, I put them in a pile next to the other veggies. I just have them all laid out so I can grab them.
This sounds like a neat tool, but I think I'll just stick with my knife. I tend to stay away from tools that just have one purpose! lol Trying to have a minimalist kitchen is hard when I love kitchen gadgets so much!
Now, I soak the first spring roll wrapper in the water. I don't always remember but while I'm busy wrapping one, I try to put another in. That way I don't have to wait on it. Try to find the bumpy side of the wrapper and put it facing down. Otherwise, it will curl up and not lay flat.
How to know when it's ready and done soaking. I swirl it in the water and see if it will bunch..
Like this. It's not quite ready yet.
Now it's ready...
Now, I just grab it and let it drip off the water as much as possible. Squeezing some of the extra water out too.
Lay it down and spread out:
Next, add veggies
and fold the top over and the sides and give it a tuck while I fold it over.
and the other side and start rolling it up.
That's it! Set aside and make more. Hopefully, you remembered to soak a new wrapper while you were wrapping them so there will always be one ready to go!
Ready to eat:
I posted a yummy dipping sauce on my blog the other day. Click here.
But this one is my favorite recipe!!! I sadly do not know the source of it.
6 Tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 cup of sugar
2 cups of water
4 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Amino's
2 Tablespoons of toasted or roasted peanuts, finely chopped. or 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter
1 Tablespoon of garlic, finely crushed
Add everything to the pot and keep an eye on it. When it starts to change color, (it will just be a little at first) I start stirring and soon it will completely change colors. You might think at first that it won't do anything, at least that's what I thought and then before your eyes it will thicken up nicely. When it's as thick as you want it to be, remove from heat and serve with spring rolls.
It will separate if you keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. You can re-heat it but it doesn't look as good and the taste is not as good.
If I'm just making about 6 spring rolls, then I halve the recipe and there aren't any leftovers. :-)
I also like to serve the rolls with a little wasabi paste. I buy mine in a tube and put some on a plate with the peanut sauce next to it and just dip a little in both.