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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spring Rolls with Ginger-Peanut Sauce for One

I love these little rolls of sunshine. It’s not as hard to make them as it is to decide what to put into them—go crazy! Let your veggies rule the day! 

For the Dipping Sauce:
2 generous TBLSP peanut butter (or almond butter, in a pinch)
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice (rice vinegar, in a pinch)
Shake or two of garlic powder (or a small fresh clove, diced super small)
Pinch ginger powder (or a small amount of fresh, grated very finely)
Hot water to thin
For the Rolls:
4-6 spring roll wrappers (available in the Asian section of the grocery store)
Crunchy things, including but not limited to:
Mung bean sprouts
1 mushroom, sliced thinly
1 small carrot, julienned thinly
1 inch of cucumber, julienned thinly
Baked tofu, cut into slender slabs
Cilantro leaves, plucked from about 8 stems
Mint leaves, plucked from about 6 stems
2 lettuce leaves, chopped a little
2 green onions, diced
1/2 Avocado, sliced
Vegan cream cheese
Alfalfa sprouts
Asparagus, cooked and cut into 2-inch lengths
Green beans, cooked and cut into 2-inch lengths
Pickled red onion
1 mushroom, sliced and sautéed in olive oil or vegan butter

Make the Dipping Sauce:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter with the soy sauce and sweetener of your choice. Thin with the lime juice. (I used rice vinegar when I didn’t have any citrus and it was fine.)
  2. Add in the garlic and ginger to taste. Thin with water, if necessary. It should be fairly gloppy, but you want to be able to dip a soft spring roll in there.

Make the Rolls:
Set up a work station like this:
1 dinner plate with cold water in it (nearly to the rim)
1 dinner plate for assembly
1 plate or cutting board with your prepared veggies lined up—everything should be horizontal, to make it easier
1 serving plate
  1. Place one wrapper in the plate full of water. Dunk it well, and flip it over. You’ll want to run your fingers all over this one (it feels slippery in the nicest way). The next wrapper will soak while you’re assembling this first one, so you won’t have to stand there impatiently next time. When the wrapper is transparent and very very soft, pick it up by the edges and lay it as flat as you can on the assembly plate. Dunk another wrapper into the water and turn it over to soak while you’re assembling Spring Roll Number One.
  2. Lay a pretty veggie (it will show through) on the prepared wrapper. Put it on the wrapper just south of the center. If the wrapper is 6-inches wide, you’ll want to keep your veggies limited to a 2-inch-wide stack in the middle. If your wrapper is larger, you can take up more space proportionately.
  3. Layer ensuing veggies on top of the pretty one, being careful to keep everything very horizontal. The stack, when complete, should be 2-inches horizontal, 1-inch vertical, and about 1-inch high. Helpful hint: Mung bean sprouts are wily creatures and you may want to shuffle them like cards before lining them up on the stack.
  4. Fold in the SIDES of the wrapper first, snuggling them tightly against the stack of veggies. Over-long or sharp veggies (like julienned carrots) may poke through, so monitor them closely.
  5. Now fold the edge closest to you up over the stack of veggies. You can pull on it a bit to get it to completely cover the veggies and most of the far side of the stack.
  6. Carefully roll the little darling up, pushing the bottom of the stack over the remaining bit of wrapper. You can tug on the wrapper a bit without tearing it, and the tighter you get the roll, the easier it is to eat.
  7. Set the beautiful little roll on the serving plate. Congratulate your self, because it wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 with the remaining wrappers and veggies.

These will keep overnight if you wrap them in plastic wrap, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t just fall on them like a condemned prisoner and devour them at once.


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