Fresh Spring Rolls are bursting with fresh vegetables and herbs; serve with two different dipping sauces for a flavorful appetizer!
Spring is finally here! Even in Minnesota! Well, it at least made a brief appearance while I was visiting. I was fortunate enough to head home for a few weeks and fill my soul with lots of family time, wine, and all the delicious food I’ve been craving!
I was even more fortunate that my mom and I were able to spend a few full non-weekend days together. Did I say my soul was filled yet? Because it was. So. Much. And you know what helped to fill it? These Fresh Spring Rolls, which were made on one of those fabulous Minnesota spring days, with wine, and my mama!
My mom is always inspiring me in the kitchen. I am so thankful she was able to give me her spring roll tips and tricks; she makes the most amazing dips for them, too. I can’t wait to share them with you!
These Fresh Spring Rolls are so refreshing, surprisingly filling, and so healthy! With all the indulging I was doing while being home, this fulfilling yet healthy dish was much needed. Our spring rolls use a combination of carrots, red pepper, cucumber, lettuce leaves, fresh mint, cilantro, and bean threads (thin rice noodles) all wrapped up together in thin rice paper.
To take that winning combination to the next level, we had two dipping sauces, because what’s better than one dipping sauce? Two dipping sauces! Of course, you wouldn’t need to make both, but I like to be able to switch between opposing yet delicious flavors with each bite.
The first sauce we served with the spring rolls was a peanut and hoisin sauce. Oh how I love a good peanut sauce – basically peanut butter and asian flavors, how can you go wrong?! This sauce was a blend of peanuts, peanut sauce, and hoisin sauce. So creamy and hearty for the spring rolls to be dipped in, and soooo easy to make!
Our second sauce was a lighter fish sauce, composed of well, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and a favorite – sriracha. It was so light and refreshing – a perfect combination with the spring rolls. Instead of dipping, we tended to spoon this sauce onto the spring roll, letting it drip down into the rest of the roll. So light and so many flavors! I kept going back and forth between the two dipping sauces to see which I liked best.
In the end, I couldn’t choose, but did I really have to?
No, of course not, and you don’t have to either. Sometimes, you just need a vehicle for the sauce/dip/etc., but in this case, every thing works so well together, you’d be lost without the other part. Yes, the spring rolls are full of fresh vegetables along with the mint and cilantro, which are perfect together inside the roll of goodness. The fresh herbs take the rolls from “vegetables inside a rice paper wrapper” to “helllloooooo flavor! How do you get so many dimensions?!” Then add in the sauces, and whoa, mind blown.
If you’ve never worked with rice paper wrappers before, they can be a little tricky. We had a couple break before we softened them, or they would stick to themselves as we transferred them to the work space. My advice: just have patience. Soak the papers one at a time in warm water until soft (a few seconds), and then fill ’em up with all the delicious veggies. Really, in the end, is it going to matter if your roll’s paper had a little tear in the edge? No, it’s not (assuming it’s still roll-able, of course), because the only thing you’re going to care about is how quickly you can shove another roll in your mouth without feeling like you’re hogging the plate. Hog away, my friend, hog away.
Fresh Spring Rolls are totally customizable, too! If you’re in the mood for a little added protein, try some shrimp, or whatever your stomach may desire. I’ve also heard Thai Basil is mmm-mmm good in these, but unfortunately Minnesota was running a little short on it in April. Let me know if you try a new variation by tagging Fork in the Kitchen on Instagram or Facebook, or by leaving a comment!Print
Recipe inspired by All Recipes.