One of my favorite ways to eat lots of raw, fresh, crunchy, colorful, flavorful vegetables is to roll them in rice paper. I end up eating 4 to 5 spring rolls at a sitting, they’re that good! You are eating a virtual rainbow of colors! These little packages of mouthwatering goodness are packed with our daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, essential nutrients, antioxidants, and they have anti-inflammatory properties. I serve these spring rolls for lunch or dinner, as appetizers, as a snack, for a buffet, and during Sunday brunch! If you like you can add shrimp, tofu, or grilled chicken. All of these proteins are optional.
I’ve included three dipping sauces, and while I don’t know which one I like best, they are all so delicious! I just go to town enjoying the extra flavor power boost! I suggest you double the recipe for the sauces! 🙂
Serves 6 to 8
1 bunch Thai or regular basil
12 cilantro sprigs
1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced into thin strips
1 medium carrot, peeled, cut in half, sliced into thin strips
4 celery ribs cut in half, sliced into thin strips
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut in half, sliced into thin strips
1 zucchini, ends trimmed off, sliced into thin strips
8 sheets of rice paper (available in most supermarkets)
Plastic wrap to roll the veggie rolls
Fill a large flat-bottomed bowl or pie plate with warm water. Do one rice paper at a time and fill.
Dip the rice paper in the warm water for 4 seconds, until the rice paper becomes moistened. After dipping the rice paper in the warm water, gently lift and lay the wrapper onto your work surface. Allow the rice paper to soak up the water and become soft and pliable, about 30 seconds before you start to roll.
Line up the basil, cilantro, bell pepper, carrot, celery, cucumber, and zucchini so they are side by side.
When the rice paper is ready, fill with the veggies,
On the lower third of the rice paper keeping the rice paper clear by 1 inch on each side add 3 basil leaves, 1 cilantro sprig, 4 to 5 strips bell pepper, and a few strips each of carrot, celery, cucumber, and zucchini. Roll the rice paper tightly over the filling once. Tuck each side to seal, continue to roll tightly until you have formed a cylinder.
Place the roll onto plastic wrap to wrap the roll tightly and set aside. When all the rolls are filled and tightly wrapped place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to chill!
Will keep 2 days in the refrigerator!
When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and slice each spring roll on the diagonal and serve with dipping sauce.
3 Dipping Sauces
1 cup water
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon finely grated carrot
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
In a small bowl stir the water, rice vinegar, fish sauce, carrot, agave syrup, garlic, and crushed red pepper.
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
In a small pot over medium-high heat, whisk the water and cornstarch until they’re combined and no lumps are visible. Add the agave syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until it thickens.
Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce or gluten-free
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
If the sauce is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach creamy consistency.
Serve at room temperature!
Sauces can be refrigerated in tightly sealed glass containers for up to 3 days.