Fresh Summer Rolls

I think a lot of people can agree that fresh summer (or spring) rolls is one of those dishes that you gladly order in a restaurant but rarely make at home. Some of the reasons We were blaming on were that it was hard to find the right ingredients, that it took a lot of time to make and was quite difficult. A couple of months ago we finally decided to give them a try and it turned out that none of our excuses were valid. The only thing that could be a bit hard to find is rice paper, although in Sweden you can probably find them in most large supermarkets and definitely in any Asian market. They don’t take a lot of time making either; just the time it takes to cut the vegetables and prepare the dip (maximum 15 minutes). And how difficult was it to roll them? Well, the first three looked all wrinkly, broken and sad. But after a couple of tries they drastically improved. And they tasted just as good as in a five-star Vietnamese restaurant.

After that dinner we talked about how easy it was and how we should do this at least once a month. Five months later we still hadn’t tried it again. Until yesterday when I invited one of my friends (who is also about to have her first baby) over. I am soon to be a certified instructor in infant massage, and since we have to hold a couple of trial courses before I receive my certificate she was one of my first students. But before we started the course we had fresh spring rolls for dinner. I had prepared the vegetables so that we could roll, talk and eat at the same time. The spring rolls turned out even better than the first time and the course went great. I think I will actually be a good instructor in infant massage.


Fresh Spring Rolls
Serves 4

We switched the common rice noodles for cabbage in our spring rolls. Be creative in the use of vegetables, you could add beans, tofu, spinach, Thai basil, apples etc …
We made a marinade that we dripped over the vegetables before we rolled them, you could also marinate some of the vegetables in advance.

1 mango
1/2 cucumber
2 carrots
1 avocado
1 small pack sprouts
1 small pack sugar snap peas
1/4 wild cabbage
1 handful cashew nuts or peanuts (chopped)
fresh coriander (cilantro)
fresh mint leaves

2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp water
1 lime (juice)
1/2 fresh chili (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)

rice paper (also called rice wrapper)

Preparations: Slice all the ingredients into thin sticks and put them in separate bowls. Mix the marinade and prepare the other dressings.
Making the spring rolls: Warm some water in a large pot. Dip the rice paper in the water so that it become soft, spread it out on a plate. Put the ingredients in the middle of the rice paper, drip the marinade over the vegetables (in the picture we just used lime), fold the rice paper as shown on the pictures below.

Serve with one dip sauce or several, here are some examples: Peanut butter (as it is, or whipped together with Soy yogurt), Soy sauce (with garlic and some finely chopped fresh chili and coriander), Sweet chili sauce (as it is).