Veggie Spring Rolls with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

Spring rolls are as delicious and nutritious as they are beautiful. I love the transparency of rice paper, as it allows you to see the ingredients inside. Thus, I chose the ingredients for these veggie spring rolls carefully, ensuring that every color of the rainbow was present. Shout out to my CSA turnips and red leaf lettuce for enhancing this dish!

Prior to this, I had never worked with rice paper. It proved to be tricky at first; however, several YouTube tutorials and three wasted rice paper wraps later, I got the hang of it. Once you learn to work gently and slowly, working with rice paper is a breeze.

These delectable spring rolls are crisp, light, and brought to life by the spicy peanut sauce. They’ll make for an impressive appetizer at your next party. Another option is to make an Asian-inspired dinner for four and serve two spring rolls per person as a side dish. 

Note: This recipe yields 8 spring rolls and just enough sauce to get you through eating them. You will have leftover pickled turnips and pickled onion; however, it will be easy to put those ingredients to use in salads, on tacos, and in rice bowls, to name a few options.

Part 1: Turmeric-Pickled Turnips

What you’ll need:

  • 4 medium-sized turnips
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered turmeric

What you’ll do:

  • Using a mandolin, slice the turnips into matchstick-sized pieces; transfer to a pint-sized mason jar
  • Bring the water, rice wine vinegar, and turmeric to a boil; cover the turnips with the liquid
  • Cover with a lid and chill in the refrigerator overnight

Part 2: Sweet-Pickled Red Onion

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pure cane sugar

What you’ll do:

  • Slice the red onion into long strips; transfer to a quart-sized mason jar
  • Bring the water, rice wine vinegar, and sugar to a boil; cover the onion with the liquid
  • Cover with a lid and chill in the refrigerator overnight

Part 3: Spicy Peanut Sauce

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. minced ginger
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • Crushed red pepper

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all ingredients, minus the crushed red pepper, in a food processor; blend until just combined
  • Spoon into a small serving bowl and garnish with desired amount of crushed red pepper

Part 4: Veggie Spring Rolls

What you’ll need:

  • 8 rice paper wraps
  • A shallow, yet wide bowl filled with warm filtered water
  • 1 small head of red leaf lettuce, divided into single leaves
  • 1/3 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup turmeric-pickled turnips (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup sweet-pickled red onion (recipe above)
  • 2/3 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, cut into long, thin slices
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. black sesame seeds

What you’ll do:

  • One spring roll at a time, place a rice paper wrap into the bowl of water for no longer than 5 seconds
  • Transfer the wrap to your work surface and allow it to slowly absorb the water for approximately 1 minute
  • As pictured below, place litte bits of each ingredient onto the center of the wrap
  • Roll the bottom portion of the wrap upward, roll the side portions of the wrap inward, and, finally, roll upward, ensuring that all ingredients are within the wrap
  • Repeat the previous steps until all ingredients have been used
  • Slice the spring rolls in half, if desired, and serve with spicy peanut sauce (recipe above)

5 thoughts on “Veggie Spring Rolls with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

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