This is going to be a little bit less a recipe and a whole lot more of a general guide to making spring rolls. There are tons of recipes out there, but with so many chefs in our family, neither I nor my wonderful girlfriend have ever learned how to properly follow a recipe while cooking. Baking? Yes. I can follow one of those recipes. Mostly. But for the most part my family sees a recipe and thinks of it as more of a basic guideline rather than something we need to take serious.
And if you follow these guidelines, you can make yourself some amazing and personalized spring rolls. I like to refer to these as “Asian Burritos” for two reasons:
- I grew up in a Mexican neighborhood & am obsessed with any food item that reminds me of this.
- You can put just about anything in a Burrito, cover it in sauce & have it be one of the best things you have ever eaten.
The first thing that you need to do is hop on over to your local Asian market & purchase yourself some rice wrappers, bean or soy sprouts & your favorite kind of Asian noodles. We keep a variety of Asian style noodles on hand, but last night we went with potato starch noodles, which cost $2.99 for a 1.1 pound bag. The rice wrappers will cost somewhere around $1.99, and the bean sprouts shouldn’t be more than $0.99. We went a little crazy and also bought some mung-bean vermicelli, a few Korean Sweet Potatoes & a bottle of Wasabi for future use, and ended up spending $12.49 (I know– we are such big spenders), but you can easily keep your bill down to around $6.00 and still have rice wrappers and noodles for another meal. (No picture of the these items, guys. Sorry. I will update this with a picture next time we venture to Galleria.)
If you purchase the same items at a regular store, they cost at least twice as much. This is why I recommend shopping at stores that specialize in foreign foods.
Once you get those bad boys home, start pulling out salad-type vegetables from your refrigerator. This is one of those situations where whatever you have on hand should be just fine! Like I said, these are personalized Asian Burritos, which means you can shove anything your little heart desires inside of them.
Here is what we used:
Next step is to julienne your vegetables. In the meantime, boil water for the noodles & the rice paper. (Asian noodles are super easy to make, you just have to put them in a heat-safe bowl, cover them with boiled water & let them sit for somewhere around six minutes.)
Once the noodles are done, stir-fry them in a little bit of oil & the bean sprouts. I like to use duck fat for the stir frying since duck fat makes everything taste like the most amazing thing you have ever sautéed in your life, but duck fat is not really something that the average broke-person has in their fridge, so any kind of oil should work. Peanut oil would be my top choice, but canola or vegetable are fine. When they are almost done being stir fried, you can add a splash of gf soy sauce. Or you can not. Again, these are personalized, so you can do what you want! I know, I know– Exciting!!!
Once all of your components are ready, you can begin to work with the rice paper. This is where it gets tricky, because they like to stick to themselves. But as long as they are wet, they are fine. Just dip them in a pan of hot water and carefully spread them out on a plate. Stick your little vegetables on top, add a little bit of your noodle/sprout mixture, and wrap them sons’o’bitches up like a burrito.
It is really that simple.
You will probably want some kind of dipping sauce for this. I more or less followed this recipe for ours. And by “more or less”, I mean “looked at the ingredients, and put random amounts of each of them into my ninja, added sriracha, hit pulse & hoped for the best”. And since mine turned out so amazing that we were taking turns eating it with a spoon, I am assuming the recipe itself is probably amazing.
If you opt for a simpler sauce, this will still be an amazing (and cheap!) dinner. The variety of textures and the vegetables will fill you up with nutritious goodness, and if you feed this to guests they won’t ever notice the lack of gluten. They are also a clever way to redesign leftovers, since the bland flavor of the rice paper can go with just about anything. You can also add any cooked meat that you want! They are really and truly one of the most versatile foods a broke celiac can make, and they will impress just about anyone!