In need of some variations on a plate of salad? These spring rolls are light, simple to construct and offering infinite variations. Oh and fresh. So fresh – the zingy herbs and chilli bringing to life the fillings, which quite frankly could be any combination of fridge vegetables and/or protein. Vietnamese Summer rolls use a ricepaper wrap. Sold dried they are a great pantry standby, with a long shelf life. You soften them by gently soaking them in hot water briefly. Carefully rotating it so the whole pancake is soft. A gently, gently approach is needed to avoid tearing the wrap or letting it fold on itself. Rather like sellotape, it is very happy to stick to itself. The stickiness though is part of the ease of it. Lay out the softened wrap, top with fillings then fold over the edges and make a tight roll. Some may end up a little looser than other but generally they will hold together well.
So coming back to fillings, you layer shredded vegetables and (optionally) some protein with lots of herbs and chopped spring onion, a little chilli and you have a super low calorie low fat dish. Add a dip – we like a chilli dipping sauce as in this recipe here. You may also wish to bulk it out with some cooked vermicelli type rice noodles but that adds to the faff factor. And we only believe in faff factor at weekends or on special occasions, and certainly not on a school night!
So we have tried this with prawn, tofu and turkey. Today we made some with crabmeat, some mangetout that was sitting sadly in the refridgerator and an avocado that had entered that rare moment between unripe and overripe.
Here is a lovely vegetarian recipe from Gourmet Magazine – filled with carrots, cabbages and peanuts.
Do give summer rolls a go. They are so easy and make a change to salads if you are watching the calories.
- handful of mint leaves, basil, vietnamese basil and coriander
- 1 spring onion
- 1 avocado
- 6 to 8 mangetout
- 8 spring roll wrappers
- 100g (1/4 cup) white crabmeat
- Dipping sauce (mix of soy and sweet chilli or use the recipe in the link above)
- Chop the herbs, spring onion and avocado
- Shred the mangetout
- Soften the spring roll wrappers by dunking them in a pan of very hot water, rotate them carefully and then lift onto a chopping board or large plate and lay them out flat. Work with one wrapper at a time.
- Top with the crab meat and then the herbs and other fillings at 2/3 down the wrapper.
- Fold over the sides and then roll the wrapper around the filling, starting at the lower end and rolling towards the 2/3 of wrapper above the filling. Roll tightly as you can.
- Serve with dipping sauce.