Spring rolls are believed to have originated in China, during the Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD). In the spring, the people would make thin flour cakes loaded with fresh vegetables, to welcome this change in season.
Today, these refreshing wraps of rice noodles, vegetables, and your choice of protein, can be enjoyed any time of the year. They are a great go-to when not wanting anything heavy nor hearty.
My home state is gaining its first few centimeters of snow, and a huge part of me does wish spring were upon us, instead of winter. But with access to fruits and vegetables at any time of the year, I can enjoy some Simple Spring Rolls and pretend it’s still warm out.
To make your own spring rolls, here’s what you’ll need:
Recipe: (Note: no measurements so you can make however many or little that you like)
- Rice paper wraps
- Shrimp (or other protein)
- Other vegetables of your choice
- Rice noodles
- Hot water
- Hoisin sauce
- Peanut butter
- Lime juice
- Chili flakes (optional)
To begin, cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. Also cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes, and drain and set aside. Then rinse the lettuce leaves, cilantro, and other vegetables of your choice.
Next, fill a wide bowl with hot water. Dip the rice paper wrap in the water 3-4 times, until the wrap becomes soft and pliable. Then lay it on a work surface. Place a small handful of rice noodles a fourth way, horizontally, away from you on the rice paper, making sure to leave 1-1.5 inches of exposed rice paper on the sides. Lay some lettuce, cilantro, and vegetables on top of the noodles, followed by 2-3 shrimps.
Then pick up the rice wrap edge closest to you and wrap it over the noodles, vegetables and shrimp, tightly. Enclose the wrap by pulling the two sides in to form what looks like an envelope. Then roll everything away from you. Continue with the rest of the wraps until you’ve run out of shrimp (or other) and vegetables.
To make the dip, combine about 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce with 1-2 teaspoons of peanut butter. Add a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lime juice, and chili flakes, and mix it all together.
And enjoy these simple spring rolls any time of the year^-^