It’s been a freakin’ HOT summer. Who wants to cook under the heat in this weather? Below is a recipe for a very tasty, Chef Kelly’s version of the Spring Rolls. Some people may also refer to it as Summer Rolls, Cold Rolls, Crystal Rolls or gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese, which literal translation means “mixed salad….rolled”. This means ANYTHING GOES! Just take your veggies with some marinade, roll it up (leeetle tricky), have an awesome dipping sauce and you’re good to go~
STUFFINGS (veggies and stuff that I found in the fridge):
– Kalbi zucchini (zucchini sliced vertically super thin on a mandolin, marinated in shoyu, garlic, evap cane juice, pepper and mirin, a japanese cooking wine).
– Sweet-n-sour persian cucumber (marinated in apple cider vinegar and evap cane juice for about 10 min, rinse in water and squeezed out of excess water. This gives a nice crunchy & chewy texture without a watery mess).
– Kalbi tofu (use the same marinade as kalbi zucchini. You can use these uncooked or pan fry for about 5 min. Minimum heat, no real cooking on the stove).
– Arugula or “rocket”
– organic japanese somen noodles (thin white wheat noodles). I like a brand called Hakubaku . Cook as you’d other pasta but only for about 3 min. Drained and rinsed (the noodles will stick otherwise and makes “rolling” challenging).
– *important* – mint pesto made fresh with torn mint leaves, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic and drizzle of olive oil.
SAUCE (Almond Butter Dipping Sauce)
I’ll say it. I hate peanuts. And thus the peanut sauce they serve with Spring Rolls just don’t work for me. And given that a lot of folks out there have peanut allergies, below is a tasty substitute using almond butter (smooth).
– 2 tbsp almond butter
– 2-3 tbsp hot water
– 1 tsp chopped garlic
– 1 tsp chili sauce
– 1/2 tsp (or just a “squirt” ) of the sriracha chili sauce
– 1/4 tsp evap cane juice or agave
Whisk it all together (very slowly at first as the almond butter tends to be thick and spill all your liquid around).
After dipping your rice wrapper (found at your local asian market or even at WholeFoods. And yes – it looks oddly stiff, almost like a paper plate but will do its magic.) Swish it around (one sheet at a time) for ~15-20 sec in hot water, lay it out on a cutting board and it becomes a translucent and pliable canvas for you to “roll your mixed salad”.
Lay your stuffings, fold over each side and then roll the top over and then roll it around. Slice it in 1/2 at an angle, drizzle almond butter sauce and serve.
Why I picked the stuffings:
– It was what was in my fridge
– These are chockful of nutrients:
Zucc (caratenoids/good for eyes, like carrots)
cucumber (antioxidants & VitK for healthy skin)
tofu (calcium & protein for bones/muscles)
arugula (antioxidants & potassium (for blood pressure, nerve function and muscle control))
almonds (VitE & potassium)
Enjoy and please leave any comments.
Made with 2 tablespoons of love; love for food, love for life.