Jun 03, 2013

Vegetable Rice Paper Spring Rolls + Homemade Hoisin Sauce

Have you ever had store-bought hoisin sauce? It’s a thick, dark, syrupy, sweet, salty, tangy explosion of flavors. But, oh my goodness, what a lot of junk in the ingredients. Among them; sugar, corn starch (GMO?), preservatives and food coloring! No thanks. My hoisin sauce doesn’t look much like the store-bought but the flavors are tremendous.

Rice paper rolls are pretty easy to make. A little time consuming though, only because of chopping all those veggies! But a fun project for a weekend. These are light, fresh and crunchy. They make a nice presentation and are a perfect appetizer or side dish to accompany an Asian meal.

Ingredients:

       ~ for the rolls

  • 20 rice paper wraps (find in any Asian market and often in supermarkets in the Asian section)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large cucumber
  • ~ 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • black sesame seeds and chopped green onion for garnish
Note: You can use whatever veggies you like. Traditionally, rice noodles are also used in these rolls. But I tend to avoid too many grains, especially white rice, which the papers are already made of!

       ~ for the hoisin sauce

  • 2 TBS miso
  • 2 TBS tamari
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 TBS tamarind paste
  • 1 TBS molasses
  • 1 TBS Asian hot sauce or to taste (Sriracha works well)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed and finely minced
  • ½ cup date sugar or other minimally processed sweetener
  • ½ cup coconut water
Directions:
  1. First make your hoisin sauce, mix all the ingredients together. No need to use a blender for this. Just whisk it all up!
  2. For the rolls, julienne the carrots, pepper and cucumber. Assemble them and the cilantro leaves in separate bowls so they are all within easy reach. 
  3. Place a damp paper towel (doubled) on your work surface.
  4. Fill a bowl, large enough to accommodate the rice papers, with some pure, cool water.
  5. Dip each paper wrap into the water for a few seconds, then place it on the damp paper towel. Let it rest for a few more seconds and it will soften up.
  6. Place some of each veggie and a couple of cilantro leaves on the side of the wrap closest to you (the final roll should be about the diameter of a quarter), then fold over and, as you roll, tuck the ends in. You can leave one end open if you like. I prefer to wrap mine completely in nice, neat little packages.
  7. Place the rolls on your serving tray and COVER them with a damp paper towel as you finish rolling the others. You want to keep them moist until serving. Otherwise they dry out and get rubbery.
  8. Garnish with some black sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

Makes 20 rolls. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

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