While out to dinner at a Thai restaurant in Wakefield the other night, after deciding what we wanted for our entrees, the question that always comes up came up. “Should we get the spring rolls?” You know what I am talking about, right? Not the greasy, crispy deep-fried rolls you find in Chinese restaurants. These are the soft rice paper wrapped rolls filled with fresh veggies and shrimp or tofu that come with delicious peanut sauce. So good!! Except for one thing.
Why can’t anyone make these with brown rice? If only. Then I would feel so much better about eating them. Never in any restaurant have I seen brown rice spring rolls. They are always made with refined white rice, which we all know is the rice equivalent of white bread. In grocery stores I have only seen white rice wraps. Years ago we went through a spring roll phase where we would make a big plate of wraps filled with slivered cucumber, carrots, basil, napa cabbage and sprouts. Dipped in a delicious homemade peanut sauce… and that was dinner many a night.
So we order the spring rolls and while we are enjoying them Chris googles brown rice wrappers on his phone and finds them on Amazon! Vietnamese Brown Rice Spring Roll Wrappers, see for yourself. They claim they are the world’s first and only brown rice spring roll wrapper. You get 23 wraps per pack and you have to buy 6 packs. Why not? So we did and 3 days later they arrived.
We are going to be making brown rice spring rolls until we are 90. 🙂
They are fun to make but a little tricky to wrap neatly. I haven’t made these in at least 5 years so my skills need some fine tuning. I found this great step-by-step tutorial after I fumbled through mine. Now that I understand the technique a little better, with practice they will be tighter and hold together much better!
The wraps are hard and brittle, so to soften them, dip them in warm water in a frying pan or large bowl. Just lay the wrap in the water for a few seconds until it softens, take it out, place it on a plate and lay in your fillings. Here is what we had handy in our fridge so this is what we used:
The peanut sauce recipe I use is simple. Just peanut butter, rice vinegar, red curry paste, tamari and fresh ginger. Measurements? I don’t really. But if I had to estimate, about a half cup of peanut butter, 2T rice vinegar, 1-2T red curry paste, 1T tamari, 1T minced ginger and water added a little at a time until it’s a good dipping consistency. If you like yours sweet like in the restaurants, add a little maple syrup.
These can be a perfect appetizer or roll up several for a fun meal. Try various veggie combinations. Experiment with different dipping sauce recipes.
With winter quickly approaching, think outside the typical light and summery spring roll box. Check out these creative ideas for adding some heartier ingredients to satisfy your appetite on dark, chilly evenings:
- Quinoa Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Butternut Squash “Winter” Rolls with Spicy Cranberry Sauce
- Sweet Chili Roasted Sweet Potato Spring Rolls
I’m definitely going to be giving some of those a try in the near future.
How important is it to you to eat foods made from whole food ingredients? Do you avoid refined grain products? Do you pay attention to ingredient lists to know what you are fueling your body with? How much do you think it really matters?