Tutorials, Vegetables

Healthy But Interesting Spring Rolls (Tutorial)

This is a turning point in history. Yes, today’s the day when the first ever tutorial enters these pages. But please don’t hold these photos against me – it’s kinda tricky juggling a camera, good setups, lighting and food prep with sticky fingers (and I don’t mean the album). Anyway, here goes nothing:

In my sugar-and-cream loving mind, “healthy” and “interesting” have always seemed mutually exclusive. But there has been the occasional exception and today will be a celebration of one of them: Happy-crunchy Vietnam-style spring rolls with raw vegetables.

Vietnam-Style Spring Rolls (serves two people ~ 15 rolls)

1 large carrot, julienne (see picture below)
1 celery stick, thinly sliced
1 big handful of mint leaves, chopped
1 big handful of cilantro, chopped
1/4 fennel, finely chopped
1/2 spring onion, finely chopped
1 red snack pepper, finely chopped
1-2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 lime, juiced
White balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
15 sheets of round rice paper (22 cm – see picture below)

Start preparing all of the vegetables and make sure they are all nice and thinly sliced. You want the filling to be as easy to arrange as possible. Regarding the carrots, by all means cut them julienne style by hand, but I prefer using a julienne-peeler as in this photo. It saves soo much time and agony and gives that evenly shaped Asian look.

As soon as the carrots are done, drizzle them with the lime juice to prevent them from turning brown. When the rest of the vegetables are done, sprinkle the sesame seeds into the mixture and season it with vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix it again. The result should look a bit like this:

Now it’s time for the fun part: Rolling the rolls, weeha!
Take one sheet of rice paper and soak it in luke warm water for a couple of minutes, or until soft and dangly. Spread it out onto a clean tea towel and pat it dry. Place about a tablespoon of the salad just slightly below the middle of the rice paper:

Fold the front half over the salad and try to prevent “air bubbles” under the paper (I’m not perfect there but hey, we’re all learning). Then proceed to fold one side over the middle, creating a straight line going away from you

Fold it as tightly against the salad as possible so you don’t end up with saggy rolls that won’t dip into the soy sauce afterwards. Again, try to avoid any air stuck under the paper. Fold the other side tightly over the first. Then roll it firmly to the end of the paper:

And voilà, your very own healthy and interesting spring rolls to serve with soy sauce and sliced/roasted pork chops as below or any other way you like. Enjoy!

And that concludes this week’s lesson. Now get back to doing whatever you were doing and let me crunch up those rolls by myself;-)