Monday, March 5, 2012

spring rolls

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i have always wanted to try making my own spring rolls
up until this weekend i have been a bit, dare i say scared of rice paper
c'mon whose a scaredy cat of rice paper
maybe it was how delicate it seemed to be - paper thin, i could just picture myself tearing 5 sheets before even getting to the rolling part

looks can be deceiving, we could also say don't judge a book by its cover
surprisingly rice paper is pretty strong and forgiving

i bought a pack about 2 weeks ago thinking that i may give it a try
then i promptly hide it amongst the back up canned goods in the pantry

boy, am i sorry for waiting this long
before i knew it i was a spring roll making maniac

soon i will have enough Asian inspired recipes to make a pretty good go of a full on
 Asian takeout party
the last thing to tackle will be pineapple fried rice - but that's for another day
we're talking spring rolls here

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i am a bit of a hoarder of food - especially the more unique items
more so if they are on sale
Thai rice noodles? sure throw em' the cart, I'll use them eventually
thankfully eventually does come and i pat myself on the back for being such a planner and thrifty shopper - this is all thanks to my mom, we learned percentages while bargaining shopping
she is the ultimate bargain shopper out there

okay, sorry back to the spring rolls
steamed sweet potato, thin stalks of asparagus - the perfect winter/early spring combination
join sesame noodles, bean sprouts & carrot ribbons in a wonderful spring roll
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your rice paper is soaked for 5 minutes in hot water (i reused the noodle water)
then placed on a work surface to be layered with  your veggies

my preferred layering method:
sesame noodles, sweet potato, bean sprouts, carrot ribbons & asparagus
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place the filling about a 1/4 up the rice paper
fold the side in and then roll
much like you would roll a burrito or wrap
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make sure to roll tightly so all your filling stays in place
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these noodles are so good on their own - if you don't make the spring rolls at least give these noodles a try - Thai rice noodles, sesame oil, rice vinegar, tamari & black sesame seeds are the few simple ingredients that make one awesome noodle bowl or filling for your spring rolls


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these were a lot of fun to make - easy and quick
the type of recipe that you could easily make for a fun cocktail party
mine were a little on the larger size, however you could adjust the amount of filling to make them a bit smaller-  one to two bites is the rule of thumb for hors d' oeuvres

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i loved how fresh these were - i would be super excited if i showed up to your house for a cocktail party or dinner and these were waiting for me
perfect for omin's and veggies alike- appealing to most




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served with a bit of tamari on the side it doesn't get any better
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Spring Rolls
makes 8 large spring rolls

you will need:
1 1/4 cups bean sprouts
1 small sweet potato peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 medium carrot - peeled into ribbons
handful of rice noodles
16 small & thin stalk of asparagus (larger stalks cut in half) steamed
i used frozen asparagus and simply ran the frozen stalks under hot water to defrost
8 sheets rice paper

for the noodles
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp tamari
1 tbsp black sesame seeds

assembly:
prep veggies and set aside bean sprouts & ribbon carrot
gently steam sweet potato matchsticks and asparagus

boil rice noodles according to directions while potato and asparagus are steaming

in a small bowl combine cooked rice noodles, rice vinegar, sesame oil, tamari and sesame seeds - mix until noodles are well coated

in a large bowl, platter or plate with a lip pour the hot coking water from the noodles or hot tap water into the bowl/plate/platter - this is your dipping station
take a rice paper wrapper and submerge in the water for 5 seconds

remove and a set on your rolling station
layer noodles & veggies about a 1/4 of the way up the rice paper
( it is helpful to divide your noodles and veggies into 8 equal piles before assembling) 
fold in the sides of the rice paper and roll as you would a burrito or wrap
ensuring you roll a bit tight keeping the filling in place as you roll up and away from you
set aside and continue the process until all 8 rolls are made

serve with a side of tamari and a cup of warm sake or green tea!

enjoy!

27 comments:

  1. Sweet potatoes make everything even more appealing to me.

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    1. I share the same fodness for sweet potatoes too :)

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  2. you know, i have never made spring rolls before either, and i don't know why! you make it look so easy..i love that you used sweet potato and asparagus!

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    1. Try it - it is so easy....i say that after waiting like 3 years to actually attempt to make my first spring roll :)

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  3. Where did some of your photos go, friend? They say that they are currently unavailable? In the meantime, let me entertain you by telling you how amazing you are. Because you are! These looks gorgeous and you have convinced me to give these a try at home. So lovely...just like you :) xo

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    1. So strange; i see them all in the post currently; maybe just a hiccup with blogger?

      And feel free to entertain me anytime with your lovely words :) for the record i always surround myself with people just as lovely, if not more wonderful than me - hmmm I am pretty sure you and caitlin fall into that category :)

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    2. Okay I think it is fixed :) at least I hope so!

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  4. I recently bought some rice papers, but then froze at the idea of actually using them. Your recipe sounds fantastic, and the black sesame seeds are beautiful. Need to add those to my grocery list... :)

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    1. That was totally me 2 weeks ago- I am gald i just went for it, they were so easy to make!

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  5. These are gorgeous! I was afraid of making my own fresh spring rolls for a long time too...then I finally took the plunge and made them for New Years Eve. It did take a couple practice tries to get the hang of it (how long to soak the wrappers, wrapping them tight enough...) but you're right, it definitely wasn't as "scary" as I thought!

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    1. LOL why are we so afraid of spring roll wrappers; I am glad to know that I am not the only one who put it off for so long; i had a few casualties but nothing my mouth and tummy couldn't handle!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you; they were pretty tasty, you should definitely make them so you can enjoy all the tastiness too :)

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  7. I love making these (or eating them, anyway)! For some reason I've never included asparagus though, which is totally odd given that I put asparagus in most of my salads...doing your version next time!

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    1. I love making and eating them too- I LOVE asparagus, Justin not so much, which always means more for me :)

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  8. I too was scared to try making spring rolls! *hah* But this past summer, I hosted an engagement party for my little sister and wanted to make some neat appetizers. I wanted to try making mexican spring rolls. They were quite easy to make and super tasty when dipped into homemade salsa or guacamole. I love the thought of making some proper asian-inspired spring rolls though. These look awesome!

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    1. oohh mexican spring rolls sound so awesome! Did you post about your spring roll creation? If not you should definitely think about it!

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  9. Haha - I was scared to use rice paper the first time, too, but I *love* making spring rolls now. They're so quick and easy, and the filling possibilities are endless. I usually make a quick peanut sauce on the side, just for kicks. I've never tried adding sweet potato, though - sounds awesome!

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    1. Mmmm Peanut Sauce, I love peanut sauce on just about anything thai/asian! I bet the eanut sauce would be pretty tasty with teh sweet potato!

      Where were you whan I was making these know I am totally craving these spring rolls with peanut sauce, I guess that just means I will be making another round this weekend :)

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  10. Gorgeous recipe and photos - all those delicious fillings are really calling to me :)
    Look divine :D
    And so neat!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. LOL they are calling to you and they don't even have chocolate- I was worried for awhile that you only survived on chocolate - like an x-man mutation;) KNow we have to come up with a super cool x-man name for you :)

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  11. I have never thought to put sweet potato into spring rolls, but I imagine it would be quite a wonderful contrast to the tamari dip!

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    1. They were so good that I made them again this weekend; I was really looking forward to trying out a Peanut Sauce Willow reccomended but found that all I had on hand was chocolate PB & Raisin PB...hmmm definitely would not have given me the taste I was looking for ;)

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks Emily! I stopped over to your blog and really enjoyed reading about your Vacation to Mexico (jealous!) and your Mini House Dream :)

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  13. these look lovely - especially with the sprinkled black sesame seeds making an appearance through the translucent sheets. fresh spring rolls are a staple in my kitchen - not only for parties {everyone goes gaga for them!} but everyday just as a quick bite too!

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  14. I just bought all the ingredients for these today. I can't wait to make them tomorrow. My first attempt @ spring rolls. I love sweet potatoes and asparagus so this popped up and
    I couldn't resist. wish me luck <3

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