Quite often I opt to order the summer rolls on a menu as an appetizer. I really do love them and they are usually healthy– but I do this too, more so because they are often one of the only vegan options that are not fried or super white starchy. Even at vegan restaurants I choose this — again for the simplicity and light calories. I pay anywhere from $5- $9 for one or two and never really think twice about it. UNTIL… I made them! What a mark up! I feel like just opening up a summer roll shop and becoming rich overnight! Let’s see how many items we can fit in here for under 50 cents? This is one time you can’t say eating vegan is expensive.
Summer roll, spring rolls- I sometimes get them confused. I get so excited sometimes that something is vegan that I forget to ask if it’s healthy. Most spring rolls.. I’ll say are not. Anything wrapped in white flour and then deep fried in who knows what exactly.. is not really adding to ones health. Of course it tastes good. If that’s what you are in the mood for, go for it! However, this is a simple option that you can even prep the night before for meals on the run. They hold well!
I was so excited when I stumbled onto vietnamese rice paper. I had no clue had to use them- seriously! I think I even had to YouTube it. So silly really because it’s so easy and you can make a whole meal in less then 10 minutes. The first time I tried to soak the wrap in the water for a couple of seconds it came out “not good” at all as you can see here. Just keep trying until you get it nice and smooth.
The HOW TO:
*Take a medium size frying pan and heat up some water- keep it shallow (and not boiling). Hold the paper with two hands and dip it in for a few seconds until it is about to get really soft. Lay it on the working prep space.
*Wash and dry some greens of choice. I used spinach the first time and mixed greens the second.
*Chop up into thin slices some cucumbers, carrots or other vegetables. I also sliced up some avocado and tofu. Of course now it’s over 50 cents but you can just keep it to vegetables. I wouldn’t use anything too watery. If you use tofu, cut and blot the tofu dry before wrapping. I like to add a little hummus to mine but try to make that in the middle so it doesn’t moisten the outside once wrapped.
*Roll it gently and it automatically sticks.
The dipping sauce
I like the peanut flavorings so I use almond butter with shoyu (or coconut aminos) – if you can’t find that, tamari works too. I add a little maple syrup for taste. It’s super delicious! I was in Whole foods recently and found the brown rice version of this paper. Wonderful!
If you would like some more tips on buying, using or storing rice paper, check out this link: