What I Made: Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Remember when I said I was too lazy for a complicated dumpling recipe? Apparently that doesn’t apply to spring rolls, so hold on for a long post! The full recipe is after the jump.

 

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Half of the sauce ingredients in one photo!

Since the peanut sauce needs a chance to sit, it needs to be made at the beginning.  For 6 ingredients (rice wine vinegar, water, chili oil, minced garlic, chopped roasted peanuts, sugar), it packs a lot of flavor.

 

After the ingredients sit for around 10 minutes, they somehow mix into a spicy, peanutty dipping sauce!

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The first step in making the spring rolls is soaking cellophane noodles in hot water for around 30 minutes.  That’s not very pretty, though, so before I get to the spring rolls, here is a glamour shot of my cilantro from this week’s CSA share.  The newsletter had a good tip that you should treat fresh herbs like flowers and keep them cut and in water. Look how beautiful this cilantro looks!
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Along with 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, add 1/3 cup chopped mint and 1/4 cup basil.  This smelled wonderful.

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Next, quarter green onions lengthwise and chop.  This makes really fine pieces.

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Next, blanch 1 cup bean sprouts.

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Once the noodles are soft and pliable, cut them into 2 inch lengths.springrolls5

Then, to all the other ingredients, add the cabbage and shredded carrot.springrolls6

Finally, make a paste of garlic and 2 Serrano peppers in a food processor. (Take out the pepper seeds for a less spicy taste!) Mix the paste with lime juice, and add to the filling, tossing to coat.

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For the wrap itself, dip a rice papering a big bowl of warm water. Spread the paper out on a towel, and pile a handful of the filling on the bottom third of the wrap.  Fold the bottom up over the filling once, then tuck in the sides.  Roll the wrap all the way up and set aside.springrolls8

And the finished product!  They’re lumpy and uneven, but that didn’t affect the taste.  Fresh and delicious, these wraps are definitely worth all the steps.springrolls9

Vietnamese Spring Rolls, adapted from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

2 ounces cellophane noodles
1 carrot, shredded into strips with vegetable peeler
1 cup bean sprouts, blanched
5 green onions, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup coarsely chopped mint
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil (Italian or Thai)
3 cloves garlic
2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 limes
12 large Vietnamese rice papers

Soak the noodles in hot water until soft, around 30-45 minutes.Cut into 2 inch pieces and drain.  Make peanut sauce (recipe follow) and set aside.

Combine noodles with carrots, bean sprouts, cabbage, onions, cilantro, mint, and basil.  Use a food processor to create a paste with garlic and chiles.  Add lime juice and toss to coat vegetables.

To assemble wraps, fill a bowl with warm water and cover workspace with a towel.  Slip the rice paper into the water until softened, then lay it on the towel.  Put a handful of veggie mixture at the bottom third of the rice paper, roll it over once, fold in the sides, then roll to the end.  Cut in half, and serve with peanut dipping sauce.

 

Peanut Dipping Sauce, also from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

 

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