I’ve been really into trying new things, especially things that I would’ve passed off as being too hard or complicated to try. It started with sushi, then paella, and now spring rolls! I’m really proud of myself for pushing my boundaries as a “home chef” and going outside the box.
I know I’m privileged to have a Japanese grocery store right near my work (okay, 2 actually), so I feel blessed to be able to easily find these ingredients and experiment with them. Still, I encourage you all to spend some time wandering your grocery store aisles to find new and different ingredients that might inspire you! What is life without a little adventure?
Scroll down to find out how you too can make this confidence booster and try new things (spoiler: it’s easier than you think)
for Spring Rolls:
4 rice paper wrappers
2 cups rice noodles
a few lettuce leaves
1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cucumber, de-seeded and thinly sliced into strips
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup bean sprouts
1 bunch fresh mint, de-stemmed
1 bunch fresh basil, de-stemmed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, de-stemmed
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
for Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp Asian chili sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 scallions, thinly sliced
For the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients except scallions. Garnish with scallion slices and set aside. For the spring rolls, boil a large pot of water and add rice noodles to boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Meanwhile, prepare all of your filings, divide them into four portions each, and create a work station for assembly. Submerge rice paper wrapper in a shallow pan of water (I used a pie pan) for 5 seconds and then place down on the work station. Place 1-2 leaves lettuce in the center and top with 1/4 cup rice noodles. one portion of pepper and cucumber strips, red cabbage, carrots, mint, basil, cilantro, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. To roll up, fold over one long side and then fold the sides in. Tuck it under itself and complete the roll like a burrito. Finish remaining three spring rolls, and garnish with more sesame seeds. Cut in half and serve immediately with spicy peanut sauce.