These veggie spring rolls are a great antidote to the lethargic days of late summer (even though summer can be very late in arriving in the PNW.) Now that the days are creeping into the high eighties and nineties and the dog and I both decide it’s time to lay in the grass and become solar charged, I have little interest in spending too much time in the kitchen. I’m also faced with the abundance of the season: the basil is on hyper-drive to produce, I have two bags of cucumbers in the fridge (read why here), and carrots and radishes are readily available in the farmer’s market. Spring rolls are a quick and easy solution.
Some tips: you’ll often read that spring rolls really need to be eaten the day they are made. I have had good experience, however, making up a few spring rolls the night before and taking them for my lunch. One trick I learned in most recent spring roll making venture is that you can separate each roll with a little bit of parchment paper so they don’t stick together. The rice wrapper does not adhere to the parchment paper, making it very easy to pull off each without tearing the wrapper.
The other tip is that while many spring roll recipes call for Thai Basil, if you don’t happen to have Thai Basil on hand, regular basil will do fine as a substitute. I made one batch with purple basil, which tasted great, but made for a slightly peculiar looking spring roll.
Feel free to experiment with what you put into your rolls. You could also add lettuce, jicama, asparagus, snap peas, and rice noodles. These can definitely be a catch all for whatever produce you have laying around.
Veggie Spring Rolls
Serves 2 – 3
1 or 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into matchstick sized pieces
1 cucumber, peeled, and sliced into matchstick sized pieces
3 radishes, sliced into matchstick sized pieces
1 package of baked tofu, sliced into pieces the size of the vegetables
1 bunch cilantro or basil
8 – 10 rice skin wrappers
Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil and Siracha for dipping sauce
Fill a pie pan or similar shallow dish with hot water (hot tap water is fine). Dip a rice skin wrapper in the water and let sit for thirty seconds or until the rice wrapper becomes pliable.
Place the wrapper on a plate and place several leaves of cilantro or basil in the middle. Place three or four of each of the vegetable sticks on top of the cilantro and basil. Place three or four of the baked tofu on top of the veggies. Take the bottom of the rice wrapper and fold up. Do the same with the top. Roll the remainder of the wrapper from one side to the other, making sure all the filling is tucked in.
Complete the above steps for the remaining rice wrappers, veggies, and tofu.
Serve with a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, siracha to dip.