Vietnamese Spring RollsJul 31, 2023 09:30AM ● By Caroline Somers
photo by Caroline Somers
To accommodate a family with differing dietary needs due to food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances, this dish is served family-style, allowing diners to assemble their own spring rolls, choosing from the ingredients that fit their food restrictions.
Yield: 24 spring rolls (6 entree servings, 10 appetizer servings)
1 8-oz package of 8¾-inch rice spring roll wrappers (24 wrappers)
1 bunch Thai basil (or Italian basil), leaves only
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves only
1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only
3 cups coconut jade pearl rice (recipe below)
2 mangoes or papayas, pitted, peeled and sliced into long, thin strips
4 Persian cucumbers, julienned into long, thin strips
6 carrots, julienned into long, thin strips
¼ cup crispy ginger (recipe below)
1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1 head red leaf lettuce, thinly sliced
2 cups sesame ginger vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 cup peanut sauce (recipe below)
Sriracha to taste
Coconut Jade Pearl Rice
1 15-oz bag (2¼ cups) Lotus Foods Jade Pearl Rice (or jasmine rice)
1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1¼ cups water
Pinch of sea salt
Do not rinse the rice. Combine rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Can also be prepared in a rice cooker with the same ratios.
1 palm-sized piece of fresh ginger
½ cup toasted sesame oil
Peel the ginger and thinly dice it. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced ginger and fry until golden brown—approximately 6 to 8 minutes—stirring frequently to brown evenly. Transfer the crispy ginger to a small serving bowl with a tiny spoon.
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
1 cup toasted sesame oil
¾ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup tamari (or soy sauce)
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp dried hot mustard
Combine all the ingredients in a jar with fitted lid. Cover and shake until well combined. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 months.
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp palm sugar
2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 to 3 Tbsp warm water
Heat the peanut butter in a medium bowl in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Add the ginger, garlic, sugar, chili sauce, lime juice, vinegar, tamari and sesame oil, and whisk to combine. Add the warm water to thin the sauce to desired consistency. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
To assemble a spring roll, dip one rice wrapper completely in a shallow bowl of warm water for about 5 seconds. Remove and spread flat on a plate or chopping board. Place basil leaves down the center. Continue to top the single strip with mint, cilantro, a thin layer of rice, mango, cucumber, carrot, a few pieces of crispy ginger and lettuce. Do not overstuff.
Fold up the bottom first, then fold over one side of the wrapper, tucking and rolling the filling into a compact cylinder, leaving the top end open. Serve the rolls with bowls of sesame ginger vinaigrette, peanut sauce and sriracha. Repeat to make desired number of rolls, using any combination of ingredients.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Caroline Somers.