Fresh spring rolls with Thai dipping sauce

I used to make these all the time, and I’m not sure why it’s been so long — they are so easy, delicious and healthy!

To start, head to the Asian section of your grocery store and pick up some rice wrappers.  These are thin, translucent discs that become pliable when wet.

While you’re there, pick up some rice or bean thread noodles.

You can fill these with just about anything you like.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:
shredded lettuce
napa cabbage
thinly sliced pepper/cucumber/mushroom
grated carrot
cilantro
scallions
Thai basil
mint leaves
tofu
peanuts

I used some lettuce, grated carrot, cilantro, scallions and peanuts.

Prep all of your ingredients first.  Boil the noodles per package instructions and chop all your veggies.

Take one rice wrapper and dampen it entirely by running under the faucet with warm water.  Place on your work surface and let sit for about 20 seconds, until it starts to feel pliable and slightly sticky.

Break off some noodles and line them up a couple inches from the top.  Add the rest of your ingredients, being careful not to overfill too much.

Carefully fold sides into center, kind of like you are folding a burrito.

Roll up starting from the top edge.

Voilà!

Continue until all your filling is used.

Supposedly, you can deep fry these — I’ve never had much luck with this, however; they always fall apart on me (I am suddenly remembering why it has been so long since I’ve made these — the last time was a disaster)!   The trick is apparently to avoid too much moisture on the rolls, which is difficult when you have to get them wet in the first place.  Luckily these taste pretty good fresh.

You could serve these with just some soy sauce, hot chili sauce, whatever you have — but you can also easily make some delicious dipping sauce.

These recipes are adapted from Passionate Vegetarian.

Restaurant-style dipping sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2-3 chopped scallions

Whisk first six ingredients together and garnish with scallions just before serving.

Thai crystal/Nahm Jeem Gratiem
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced garlic
2+ tablespoons crushed red pepper

Combine sugar, water, vinegar and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Allow to simmer about 20 minutes, until syrupy.  Stir in crushed red pepper (I found the 2 tablespoons to be only slightly spicy).  Keeps indefinitely in a jar in the refrigerator.

Mmmm.  So refreshingly delicious!

-R

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4 thoughts on “Fresh spring rolls with Thai dipping sauce

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