With this warmer weather I was in the mood for a lighter, summery dinner. These spring rolls did just the trick. I saw a similar recipe for them in Health magazine and I decided to give them a try using up some of the raw vegetables in my fridge and some bean thread noodles (sometimes referred to as Cellophane noodles) I found at the grocery store. I experimented with a dipping sauce for them and I came up with a peanut ginger sauce.
Since I had never made spring rolls before, I was unsure of how to prepare the spring roll skins. It turns out that it couldn’t be simpler. Once you soak the spring roll skins in water you can fill them with raw, sliced vegetables and noodles and roll them up into a package.
You can leave the spring rolls in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat them. They make a light, filling dinner or lunch. Here is the recipe.
Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Yields 4-6 servings
12 spring roll skins
5 oz. of bean thread noodles
2 scallions (cut in thin lengthwise strips)
1/2 lg. English cucumber (seeded, cut in thin lengthwise strips)
3 medium carrots (peeled, cut in thin lengthwise strips)
1/2 lg. red pepper (seeded, cut in thin lengthwise strips)
1/2 sm. Napa cabbage (cut in thin strips)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then add bean thread noodles and cook according to the package (about 2-4 minutes). Prepare all of your vegetables. Arrange a large shallow bowl of water, spring roll skins, bean thread noodles (cooked, cooled) and all of your vegetables, in an “assembly line.”
Start by soaking one of the spring roll skins for one minute. Once it becomes pliable and transparent, lay it out on a flat workspace (counter, cutting board). Arrange an assortment of vegetables and noodles inside of the skin. Then fold in the sides and roll.
Place on a platter and repeat until all twelve spring rolls are complete. If you want to speed up the process you can soak one of the spring roll wrappers while you prepare another. You can make these spring rolls in advance and keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them, just cover them in plastic wrap.
Serve cold or at room temperature with the peanut sauce that follows.
Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce
Yields 4-6 servings
2 Tablespoons of olive oil (or peanut oil)
4 scallions (chopped)
1 Tablespoon of garlic (about three cloves – chopped)
1 Tablespoon of ginger (peeled, chopped)
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. of water
1/2 c. of soy sauce
1/2 c. of peanut butter
*More water to thin the sauce if needed.
*Sriracha (optional) to taste
In a small sauce pan heat up the oil. Then, add scallions, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook together over medium heat until fragrant and the scallions and ginger have softened (about 2-3 minutes).
Next, add the rice wine vinegar, water, soy sauce, and peanut butter. Wisk together the ingredients until smooth. Cook all the ingredients together until slightly thickened. Strain the sauce through a sieve to eliminate the pieces of garlic, ginger and scallions.
Serve the sauce warm with spring rolls or store in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve. Be sure to heat up the sauce before serving.