It's spring! Let's have rolls! How 'bout some spring rolls?! Interestingly enough, they're also called summer rolls. Whatever. I'm so ready for anything not called winter. Spring comes late to this part of the country, but it's finally working its way into the landscape and I'm working it onto our plates, most recently in the form of these delectable little spring rolls.
I was actually surprised at how easy these were to put together. Once you've decided what you would like to stuff into your spring rolls (I've chosen a nice collection of flavors and textures), they're a snap to make and actually sort of fun.
I settled on a couple of different spring roll versions...one with salmon, avocado, cucumber, carrot, mint, cilantro and herb lettuces; and then just swapped out the salmon for some roasted shrimp on the others.
As good as these little rolls are, it’s the dipping sauce that makes the party. I tried a few different recipes before creating this hoisin peanut sauce that I think is pretty killer.
So without further adieu, let’s make some spring rolls.
First of all, you must purchase some of these spring roll wrappers. I think most stores carry them anymore. I found these at Whole Foods, but I’ve seen them at Target and I’m sure Walmart and other grocery stores have them. Anyway, once you have all of your ingredients prepped…
You’ll want to take one of those wrappers and soften it in some warm water.
I soak mine for about 15 seconds or so. It will continue to soften as you fill it. And you will have the added advantage of not having to take photographs while you do this, so they won’t over-soften on you either. You will want to work rather quickly.
Place your soaked wrapper on a kitchen towel (I used a cloth placemat), but don’t try to work on a table or countertop, because these little wrappers are sort of sticky. They’ll want to stick to most surfaces. Some people have had success with a plastic cutting board, but I prefer the cloth surface. A flour sack towel would work great.
Then just start placing your stuffing ingredients in the center of your wrapper, keeping them in sort of a neat little pile.
Then fold the wrapper in at the sides
And then over the top,
And start rolling.
And then you’re done!
Now you can make your dipping sauce, which I totally encourage you to personalize.
I start with equal parts peanut butter and hoisin sauce and then add about half as much soy sauce and enough chili paste (sambal olek) or sriracha to create a bit of a kick, but add however much you think will fit your taste buds. If you would like it a little sweeter, add more hoisin, more salty, add more soy; more peanutty, add more peanut butter. And then thin it down with enough water to make a nice dipping sauce consistency, which again, is totally yours to personalize.
You can refrigerate your spring rolls for a few hours before serving, which is pretty convenient. They make a great starter course for any Asian meal you might have planned, or a nice, light meal by themselves.
We're deep into the joyness of springtime around here. It's beautiful, it's green, it's warm and sunny when it's not raining, but mostly it's just not winter, which means it's time to put a little springtime on your plate. I give you spring rolls...
Shrimp or Salmon Avocado Spring Rolls with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
The ingredients listed below are as much suggestions as anything. You may be able to make more than 12 with these amounts, but then again, maybe not. You may certainly switch up the ingredients as your tastes desire - feel free to make them vegetarian and leave out the seafood altogether. For sure make that dipping sauce taste just the way you like by adding more or less of each ingredient until you've got it just right for you!
To make 1 dozen spring rolls you will need...
12 spring roll wrappers
12 oz of cooked salmon or about 24 small-ish cooked shrimp (or some of each if you’re making both kinds)
1 large avocado, each half sliced lengthwise
1 hothouse cucumber, cut into matchsticks
3 carrots, peeled and grated
A good handful or two of spring mix or herb greens
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped fresh mint
A little rice vinegar
For the dipping sauce...
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup peanut butter
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce (or to taste)
1 to 2 teaspoons of sambal chili paste (or to taste)
A little water if needed for thinning
Prep your stuffing ingredients. I like to brush the avocado with a little rice vinegar to keep it from browning while you make your spring rolls. This also adds some nice flavor to the spring roll.
Dip one of the spring roll wrappers in warm water (a 10-inch pie place works well for this) for about 10 to 15 seconds. It will continue to soften as you work with it. Place it on a kitchen towel or cloth placemat.
Place a bit of the salmon or shrimp in the center of the wrapper and place a little of each of the other ingredients on top.
Fold the wrapper in on both sides so they meet in the center and then fold down the top of the wrapper over the middle. Roll it up and then place it on a try lined with parchment paper.
Continue stuffing and wrapping until you have them all filled and then place another sheet of parchment paper over the top of the spring rolls. Cover this with plastic wrap and then refrigerate until you’re ready to serve them. You may slice them in half for serving, but they serve a little neater if left whole.
To make the dipping sauce, stir all of the ingredients together, adjusting the flavors as needed. Thin with a little water if needed to make a good consistency for dipping. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.