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How To "Spring Rolls" // Vegan Summer Roll Basics


It's pretty much guaranteed that any time I post a photo our our spring roll/summer roll lunch, there will be at least a few questions about them---- which is fair--- I mean, look at them! They're delicious! And if you don't fry them, they're really healthy too! When I first started making these at home, I almost always fried them--- or at least lightly fried them (you can see a recipe HERE). Now, well, we never fry them. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE them fried, but it's obviously easier and healthier not to. We like to keep em good ole' refreshing summer roll style. Really, the options for fillings are endless--- ENDLESS. For us, whats inside will depend on who's home or eating them-- but I thought I could maybe go over a few of our favorite variations :)

Not sure how to roll a summer roll/spring roll? Really all it takes is a delicate hand, a tiny touch of love, and damp rice paper. Imagine rolling up a wet burrito... actually don't... that sounds weird.

You can buy rice paper a lot of places. Typically your local asian market is your best bet. I buy ours at  whole foods--- your local health food place probably has them too! And of course, you can always order them online.

HOW TO:
-Once you've prepped all your items (list below), you're ready to start.
-Find a large shallow mixing bowl and fill it with warm-hot water. Not so hot that you hurt yourself, but also, not too cool that the water temperature will become cold as you work.
-You can either work on a cutting board or damp towel.
-Place one rice paper at a time in the bowl of water and completely submerge it. Let paper sit for a minute or two until it completely softens. Be cautious not to let it sit too long though, because will become extra fragile!
-Pull paper out bowl and place on your working area and begin piling a little bit of your filling on top, but slightly off to one side. Not sure how much filling to put inside? Less is more! Too much will probably leave you with a ripped rice paper roll (boooooo).
-Begin to tightly (but carefully) roll your rice paper like a tiny burrito, pulling in sides as necessary. You can see a photo step by step HERE.
-One completely rolled place on clean plate/ surface. Make more, but be sure to leave room between your summer rolls. They will stick together if they touch and rip as you pull them apart! 
INSIDE:
As mentioned we like to change it up a bit to our cravings that day or to each persons individual taste! :)  We usually have some sort of variation including: cilantro, mint, basil, greens, tofu, cucumber, carrots, avocado, peppers, mango. Sometimes pickled veggies, sometimes not. 

Our personal combination favorites:
Marlowe: cilantro, basil, greens, tofu, carrots
Mine: cilantro, basil, mint, greens, tofu, carrots, +cucumber
Alex: cilantro, basil, mint, greens, carrots, cucumber, + peppers &avocado.  

Other fun add ins: mango, pickled carrots and/or radish, avocado, cabbage, fried tofu, marinated tofu, green onion, &bean sprouts. 

Tada! Super easy right?! Have other favorites? Like brussels sprouts or sweet potato? Do share! WE'd love to hear em! 

ps. I should mention--- our greens are purple. We typically just use whats in the garden. In this case it was Okinawa spinach, it's super hearty. But really, any of your favorite greens are perfect! 
pps. did you try our veggie dumplings? We had dumplings tonight for dinner--- no amount is ever enough! they're so good! 

19 comments:

  1. I love these, thanks for sharing how to make them. :)

    http://www.mintnotion.com

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  2. This is great, I am nursing and my infant has so many digestion issues that I'm down to eating the bare minimum (no dairy, no eggs, no beans, no broccoli, no sweet potato, etc). I need to try this out as an alternative to my boring menu. Favorite dipping sauces? Thanks!!

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    1. we have a few different sauces-- again, depending on who's eating them For M, I always do the same ginger sauce. Alex is typically happy with soy or vinegar and I like all those and/or a peanut butter sauce. I'll try to put together a post maybe when I get back from india :)

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  3. I loooove spring rolls! I put some vermicelli noodles in mine (along with all the stuff you guys use, sans tofu) and dip em in chili garlic + peanut sauce. sometimes I make them pretty much just to function as a vehicle to eat chili garlic + peanut sauce.

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  4. They look delicious, there's no doubt a summer roll for everyone. Sorrel is one of our favourite leaves, sharp and lemony. We can't buy it here, but we have it in the garden, it's delicious. Sprouted radish seeds are lovely too. CJ xx

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    1. I'll be honest, I don't like sorrel! I eat it when its mixed into a salad, but i don't know why I can't love it! must try the radish seeds!

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  5. Me and my partner love making these. Such a great and tasty way to get a variety of vegetables too.

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

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  6. Love this!! It looks delicious <3

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

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  7. Hey Drea, can you tell us about the dipping sauces you use?

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    Replies
    1. hey hey! so I just commtend up there--- and I'm just going to copy and paste for ease :)

      we have a few different sauces-- again, depending on who's eating them For M, I always do the same ginger sauce. Alex is typically happy with soy or vinegar and I like all those and/or a peanut butter sauce. I'll try to put together a post maybe when I get back from india :)

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  8. Hey Drea-Can you tell us about the dipping sauces?

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  9. yum! this sounds good!

    xx nikki
    www.dream-in-neon.com

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  10. Excellent tutorial! Thank you! I've made a version of this before but never with such variety. Bookmarking!

    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

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  11. We just made spring rolls this weekend! I like to make a bunch, wrap them in saran wrap and tada...I have spring rolls for snack whenever I want. and don't forget the nuoc man or peanut sauce. It is great for picky kids (my boys) bc they can decide what to put in them. They like to add rice noodles, shrimp, carrots, cucumber, mint and basil. I love red cabbage too :) I did a little video of my 11 yr old girl wrapping them up to show friends anyone can do it!

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  12. I always lightly fry mine but I'm definitely going to give them a go un-fried now! AND, I never thought about putting herbs in too, cannot wait.


    chloe
    www.bythelock.com

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  13. This is a really great combination of flavors and it is hugely popular with all of our friends on the green belt. Everyone wants to learn how to make it and it will disappear from the appetizer table at your next cook out.

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