Fresh spring rolls are a delicious way to get in two or more servings of your daily vegetables and they are the most perfect meal idea for Meatless Monday. Spring rolls are versatile and you can add just about any ingredient you would like! You can even set these up buffet style and let everyone in the family make their own, which helps to encourage the kids to make and enjoy spring rolls as well.
Mise En Place
Cooking Lesson: Mise en place is a French term meaning “putting in place”. Before you get started rolling your spring rolls you want to make sure everything is set up and ready to go! This includes chopping all of your vegetables, preparing any extra ingredients, and having your work surface ready to go! Mise en place is generally a good idea anytime you cook or bake, but it is especially important for this recipe!
To Start: The best and easiest way to make great spring rolls is to make sure your mise en place is set up!
- Veggies: – You can use any combination of vegetables you want in spring rolls! However, keep in mind that is important to incorporate some sort ‘hard’ vegetable such as carrots, cucumber, or green pepper. These will serve as the backbone of your spring roll and keep them from folding over or folding together. It is also smart to cut your vegetables julienne style, think skinny sticks approximately 3-4” long. Be mindful of sharp edges or ends which may poke holes or tear your rice paper!
Extra additions: Feel free to get creative to add some protein to your spring rolls. Shredded chicken or fresh shrimp are two of my favorites. but I have also used beans and cooked quinoa too. Prepare your extra additions however you like, just make sure the pieces are cut small before you start rolling!
Warm Water Bath: Select a bowl that is large enough to submerge your sheet of rice paper into liquid without needing to bend it. Fill that bowl with 1-2” of warm water. Optional: I add a few dashes of soy sauce, a 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic and squeeze a fresh lime into my water for a bit of added flavor!
Work Surface: You want a spacious, flat surface to work on that can get wet. I find that both my counter top or a plastic cutting board work just fine!
Now that your Mise en Place is set-up you are ready to get started!
- 15 Spring Roll Wrappers
- 2 carrots, sliced julienne style
- 1 small zucchini or cucumber, sliced julienne style
- 1 bell pepper, sliced julienne style
- 4 radishes, sliced julienne style
- 2 avocados, sliced thin
- 2 cups of romaine lettuce, kale, spinach or any other leafy green, shredded
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- Sauce of Choice
- Using your hands, wet your work surface as this will keep your rice paper wrapper from sticking. Take your spring roll wrapper and place it in your bowl of warm water.
- You want to let the rice paper sit in the water for a 10-20 seconds until it becomes pliable. Continue to feel how flexible the paper is: you want it to be soft and workable without being mushy. When with feel ready take your spring roll wrapper out of the water and lay it down on your wet surface.
- Begin to fill your wrapper with all of your ingredients by placing everything in the center, making a rectangle shape. Be careful not to overfill your spring roll wrapper because you won’t be able to roll it shut!
- Work quickly, you don’t want your wrapper to lose moisture. When you’ve placed all of your ingredients in a nice little pile on your spring roll wrapper, it’s time to roll her shut!
- I start on the left-hand side and stretch the wrapper around the pile of ingredients, tucking and rolling the paper under the pile just a little bit before I pull in the top and the bottom flaps.
- Tuck those corners in and then continue to roll all the way, making your roll as tight as possible without ripping the rice paper wrapper.
It will likely take you a few tries to get it right! Have a little patience and don’t be afraid to start over if you have to. Rolling a really good spring roll takes practice (my first three or four – every time I make them – usually turn out pretty shaky). But once you get the hang of it and feel comfortable, you’ll learn how to do it quickly!
The only downfall to these spring rolls is that they are best eaten freshly made. If you have left overs, you could probably keep them for 24 hours in the refrigerator. After that the wrapper will get tough and gummy. However, if you have your mise en place all ready to go you could just pull the left over veggies out of your fridge and roll up some more the next day!!
This recipe is a favorite of many!
Don’t forget to check out this recipe featured elsewhere by other talented bloggers!
- Sharon Palmer: The Plant-Powered Dietitian article – 350 Calorie Lunch Recipe Roundup
- Teaspoon of Spice article – 27 Recipes That Will Get You To Crave Leafy Greens (Beyond Salads or Smoothies)!
- Ea Stweart – The Spicy RD article – 52 Vegetarian Recipes for Meatless Monday
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