Pictured are fresh spring rolls made with shredded chicken for extra protein but you can leave them veggie-only as a side, use shrimp/prawns, or whatever you enjoy.
I also don’t use the noodles inside as the rice paper is carby enough for me, but you could… and, my filling method is a lot easier than most super delicate versions that may look picture-perfect but are sort of a pain/less practical to fill.
for the fresh spring rolls (use any/all of the follow filling ingredients):
- 1 heaping cup shredded or finely sliced red cabbage
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1 heaping cup mung bean sprouts or any other kind of sprouts
- 1/4 cup minced green onion about 1 stalk
- 1/2 a large cucumber sliced into thin sticks
- 12 sugar snap peas sliced into thin sticks
- 1/2 a red bell pepper sliced into thin sticks (not pictured)
- 10-12 ounces of shredded chicken or approximately 12-16 cooked shrimp sliced in half lengthwise (to give you two flat halves) approximately
- 1/2 cup total of fresh herbs - choose from cilantro, mint, or basil, or a combination of two or three
- 8-10 rice/tapioca paper wrappers, 8 if 22cm, 10-12 if 20cm - you can find these at any Asian market or some local grocery stores.
- Strict Paleo or Very Low Carb/Keto? You can also try nori seaweed paper or blanched collard greens but you'll need a toothpick to hold the collards together.
for the peanut sauce:
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or nut or seed butter of choice (almond butter would work great as would tahini)
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup organic rice vinegar or the juice of 1 lime for strict Paleo
- a few dashes of fish sauce (I use Red Boat)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
In a large mixing bowl, combine any shredded ingredients plus the sprouts and green onions until well incorporated.
Create your rolling workspace. Fill a large, shallow bowl or plate with warm water and place a wet a paper towel on a flat surface, either directly on your counter or on a cutting board. Set up your bowl of mixed fillings, the sliced ingredients, your herbs, and your protein up in an arrangement surrounding your dish of warm water and your damp paper towel.
Prepare the paper. Dip a rice paper in the warm water for about 10 seconds until it's moistened all over, but not very soft. Then place it onto the damp paper towel. Note that over soaking the paper before you lay it on the paper towel will cause it to begin to fold over onto it self much like plastic wrap does, making it difficult to work with. By soaking it for a short time, then using the damp paper towel, the wrapper will continue to soften while you fill it, making it a perfect softness when it's time to roll it up.
Fill the wrapper, keeping the ingredients in the third closest to you: first place the herbs down, then a couple of each of the thin stick shaped items, then a small handful of the shredded mixture, then your protein. Be careful not to overfill the roll! Overfilling will cause it to break and/or fall apart very easily. It will take a little practice to see how much of each item you can use without issue.
Roll it! Pick up the end of the wrapper closest to you and pull it up and over the stack of filling, then roll the entire thing away from you once. Next pull up each of the sides, then continue rolling away from you until the wrapper meets back up with itself to seal and complete the roll.
Repeat this process until your desired number of rolls are made. We use the protein as our guide, and use all of it up. If we somehow end up with extra protein and not enough veggies, we toss the protein with a bit of the dipping sauce and eat it on the side. If you have extra veggies or shredded mixture, you can use it in salads the next day, or make a few more rolls again. The rolls will last a couple of days pre-made and placed onto a damp paper towel in an airtight container.