Most people are probably familiar with the Vietnamese rice paper or known as bahn trang. They are sold in dried form in round packages. When the dried rice paper comes in contact with water, it will soften and hence allow you to use it for wrapping. I really like using rice papers as wrappers because they are quite resilient (if you soak them properly) and easy to work with.
The inspiration of this vegetable spring rolls comes from A Taste of Hawaii cookbook by Jean-Marie Josselin. I made some adjustments to the recipe however. This vegetable spring rolls with coconut and peanut dip are so amazing. Most people know that I’m a carnivore, however, don’t let the word vegetable makes you think that it’s not going to be satisfying. In fact, this vegetable spring rolls are healthy and packed with good nutrients. The fillings are made of carrots, zucchini, tofu, bean sprouts and last but not least, basil leaves and they are stir-fried with garlic and ginger. The coconut and peanut sauce is super good! If you ask me, the sauce tastes something in between curry and satay sauce. I always love fusion elements in food.
This vegetable spring rolls with coconut and peanut dip are something you can eat and satisfy your palates and feel good at the same time because they are healthy!! This recipe is definitely a keeper. Not to mention I don’t have to heat up the whole house during summer time from all the cooking in the kitchen. Just a very easy stir-fry for the filling and you will have your vegetable spring rolls with coconut and peanut dip in no time.
VEGETABLE SPRING ROLLS WITH COCONUT AND PEANUT DIP
- 2 tsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup julienned carrots
- 1/2 cup julienned zucchini
- 7 oz of firm tofu (about 1/2 of the whole block of tofu), cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves and additional 12 leaves for wrapping
- 12 sheets dried rice paper
- Canola oil
Mix all the ingredient for the coconut and peanut dip in a mixing bowl. Stir with a spoon until blended smoothly. Set aside
Preheat a wok or skillet. Add in about 1 Tbsp of canola oil into it and let it heat up. When the oil is hot enough, add in the ginger and stir-fry until fragrant and follow by the garlic, for about 10 seconds
Add in the zucchini, carrots and stir-fry until they are cooked but not lumpy, about 30 seconds or so. Add in the bean sprouts and basil and stir fry another 10 seconds or so. Add in 1/4 cup of the peanut dip. Stir to mix everything. Add in the tofu and gently stir again to mix everything (be careful not to over stir and break up the tofu too much). Remove from the heat and set aside until completely cool
When ready to wrap, prepare a lukewarm water on a dish (wide enough to dip in the round rice paper wrap). Dip each dried rice paper into the water for about 20-30 seconds until they are soft. Place on top of a clean tea towel and place about 2 Tbsp of the filling into the middle of the sheet, fold sides over, and roll it up tightly (as tight as you can, but don't tear the wrapper). Repeat with the remaining until you use up the filling and cover the rolls with plastic wrap or damp cloth to prevent the rolls from drying out
Serve whole or cut into half with the remaining coconut and peanut dip
This spring rolls are best eaten the same day you made it. They are not doing so well if you refrigerate them, as the rice paper gets dried up easily and toughen. If you do have to refrigerate them for whatever reasons, you can steam them briefly the next day before eating
Other spring rolls I’ve made using rice papers that you might like:
GOI CUON/ VIETNAMESE SPRING/SUMMER ROLL
STEAMED RICE PAPER-WRAPPED SALMON WITH MACADAMIA NUTS PESTO
STEAMED CRAB ROLLS