We’ve tested a lot of recipes lately that will work with different vegetables and different times during the CSA Season, like this crunchy slaw and these fresh spring rolls. This recipe is an old favorite of mine, and I was planning on holding off until summer to share it. Then I found these brown rice noodles and brown rice wraps at Greenstar in Ithaca and I had to make them! This is the first time I have found brown rice wraps, and they turned out great. You can also use white rice noodles and wraps if you prefer. You can easily find them at Wegman’s, Greenstar in Ithaca, and Asian food markets. I used red cabbage, grated daikon, carrot, and watermelon radish. Just about any crunch vegetable will work as long is it’s thinly sliced. In the summer, add lettuce, green onions, cilantro, fresh mint. Or try our summer version pictured below, mangoes, bok choy, and pickled onions. Experiment, and let us know how it turns out!
Set up your ingredients, so you have an easy to use workspace to assemble the rolls. Start with cooking or soaking the noodles according to package directions. Grate or thinly slice any veggies. To prepare the wraps, heat about an inch of water in a low wide saucepan. When the water is hot, but not too hot to touch, add one wrap and wait a minute or two until it is softened like a noodle. If it gets too soft it will fall apart (a few probably will, just take your time and only soften one wrap at a time), not soft enough it won’t roll. Once softened lay out the wrap on a clean plate or countertop. Place about 1/4 cup noodles and two tablespoons prepared vegetables in the middle of wrap. Roll as tightly as you can, like rolling a burrito. Fold each side in, then roll up. Place seam side down on a serving platter. Serve right away, or cover with plastic wrap until serving. Serve with peanut sauce, and your favorite Asian condiments. The peanut sauce comes together quickly, and can be prepared before or after you make the rolls. Feel free to spice up according to your liking! I usually make the sauce less spicy, and serve with Asian chili sauce like sriacha on the side. Cook the aromatics in about 1/3 of the can of coconut milk, then add remaining ingredients and stir with a whisk until combined. This sauce is also great with grilled vegetables and stir-fries. Expect to see it again this summer!
1lb of brown rice noodles, cooked or soaked according to package directions
1 8 oz package brown rice spring roll wrappers
2 cups assorted vegetables, thinly sliced or grated
fresh cilantro, thai basil, or mint, optional
1 can coconut milk
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon tamari, gluten free if necessary
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tsp turmeric
dash of cayenne (or more if you like)
Prepare spring rolls. Set up a work area near the stove with noodles and prepared vegetables. Heat an inch of water in a low, wide saucepan. The water should be hot, but not so hot you can’t dip your finger in. If it cools off, just reheat it. Place spring roll wrapper in water until softened. Place wrapper on clean countertop. Top with 1/4 cup noodles and 2 tablespoons veggies. Fold sides in, then roll tightly. Place spring roll seam side down on a serving platter. Repeat for remaining wrappers.
Prepare peanut sauce. Bring 1/3 can of coconut milk to a boil over medium high heat, add garlic, ginger, and onion, cook for 1-2 minutes until coconut milk is reduced by half. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining ingredients. Stir with a whisk until combined, and cook for about 5 minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. Serve cool.