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Rainbow Veggie Spring Rolls

Fresh and crisp rainbow veggies, rice vermicelli noodles, bright fresh herbs, steamed jumbo shrimp all wrapped up in a little gluten-free rice wrapper and then plunged into a sweet, spicy, sour and savoury Asian dipping sauce.rainbow_veggie spring rolls_IMG_4376

You can serve rainbow veggie spring rolls as a starter, a light lunch or even as a light dinner with a big bowl of Phake Pho Soup, Tropical Thai Fish or maybe some Pad Thai. In addition, these little guys are completely portable and make the perfect bento school lunch box accompaniment. Yes, even my teenage boys loved them and now they want me to put this in their school lunch rotation.

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As the days get warmer, we crave some fresher cooler things like salad but salads every day is a little boring. We need to mix it up a little bit and these little rainbow veggie spring rolls are perfect way to enjoy a bite of spring.

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My mom used to always tell me to eat the rainbow of veggies to enjoy a variety of vitamins and minerals and so I did. You can use any fresh veggies you have in your crisper as really any thing your heart desires would go. The only must is that you cut them up thin and small and relatively the same size as each other.

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I also steamed shrimp and added them to the rainbow veggie spring rolls as they look just gorgeous peaking through the skins of the rice papers but if you are vegan they can be omitted or maybe add some grilled tofu instead.

Many of you may call this Vietnamese spring rolls (Cha Gio), Malaysian rice paper rolls or Thai fresh spring rolls and they are all of these mixed into one with a Thai dipping sauce that needed a little Japanese influence.

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Of course they do not have fresh spring rolls so much in Japan but they do have ponzu sauce. I always, always, always have fish sauce and a back up fish sauce at home as we do a lot of Thai cooking at home. However, something has gone wrong with my inventory management program as I was just about to whip up the dipping sauce when I realized I did not have a drop to spare. Hmmm...

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Fish sauce has as a really unique flavor and it does not really have a replacement. I did a little experimentation and ponzu sauce, although not anything like fish sauce, was a delightful addition to this sauce. Ponzu sauce is essentially soya sauce and lemon juice.  Head on over to my dear friend Nami-san at Just One Cookbook for her ponzu sauce recipe. Ponzu sauce is a lighter and brighter way to add a little savory flavor to the sauce. Along with some fresh lemongrass, chili, keffir lime leaves, garlic, scallions and cilantro it makes a delightful light dipping sauce for your veggie rainbow spring rolls.

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Do you ever use bean thread vermacelli noodles in your cooking? They are gluten- free and there is no cooking involved just soak the noodles in a little warm water for a few minutes to soften and they are done and ready to be eaten. Cellophane noodles are also known as Chinese vermicelli, bean threads, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, or glass noodles.  Bean thread vermicelli noodles are a type of transparent noodle made from starch  such as maybe mung bean starch, yam or potato starch, and water. Bean thread vermicelli noodles are delicious in stir fries, soups and of course in these little rainbow veggie spring rolls.

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Rice wrappers can be found in Asian food markets or in grocery stores down the international food isles. Rice wrappers are very thin round disks that look like a glass version of a flour tortilla. Rice wrappers are used in the same way as a flour tortilla.  You wrap up your favorite ingredients with them and eat. However unlike a flour tortilla, it is much lighter and it is gluten-free. You will need to soak the wrapper for about 10-15 seconds in room temperature water for them to become pliable before using. The only down side to these little rice papers is that they can tear easily and they are also about as slippery as a fresh fish that has gotten loose on a wet boat. I always say the first few rice paper wrapping mistakes are the chefs treats.

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My youngest teenager went gorging (hiking along and in the river) this afternoon before the storm and look at this beautiful shot he took. I love his perspective with the close up of the leaves in front and then the buildings in the distance. However, I most happy that he just did not drop his iphone into the river... ayahhh...

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Hong Kong, despite of what you might image as the concrete jungle is very green and lush. Hiking is the perfect way to explore it , enjoy it and burn a few calories. Eating the rainbow with these fresh veggie spring rolls is a good way to reduce the amount of calories and fat going in while enjoying a delicious treat.

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Rainbow Veggie Spring Rolls

By HWC Magazine  , , , , , , , , ,   

April 18, 2014

Fresh and crisp rainbow veggies, rice vermacilli noodles, bright fresh herbs, steamed jumbo shrimp all wrapped up in a little gluten free rice wrapper and then plunged into a sweet, spicy, sour and savoury Asian dipping sauce.

  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager

Ingredients

shrimp - 12 large

bean thread vermacelli noodles - handful or 1 section

carrots - 1 cup (thin 2 inch long slices)

cucumber - 1 peel removed and sliced lengthwise thin 2 inch strips

mung beans (bean sprouts) - handful cut in half

snow peas - 3/4 cup or handful sliced lengthwise

bell peppers - 1/2 red and yellow bells sliced into thin 2 inch strips

cilantro - handful washed and stems removed ( i had to use curly parsley due to inventory issues

spring roll rice papers - 12 pieces

Asian Dipping Sauce

ponzu dipping sauce - 1/8 cup (or if you have fish sauce use that)

lime juice - juice of one large lime

rice vinegar - 1/3 cup

Lemon Grass (Ta-khrai) - 1 chopped finely

Galangal (Kha) - 1/2 teaspoon grated finely (can also use ginger)

scallion - 1 chopped finely

chili peppers - 1 or 1/2 half bird chili minced (optional)

cilantro - 1 teaspoon chopped

garlic - 1 clove minced

sugar or sugar alternative - 1-2 teaspoon or to taste

keffir lime leaves - 1 chopped finely

Directions

1Remove shells, devein and wash your shrimp. Boil shrimp between 1-2 minutes or just until they turn pink and quickly remove them from the water to cool (Do not overcook shrimp or they will be rubbery). Set aside and place over ice and when cool enough cut shrimp in half lengthwise.

2Put your bean thread vermacelli noodles in a medium bowl and cover with a little hot water, not boiling just warm to the touch, maybe like the same temperature of the water you make for coffee/tea is perfect. Soak for about 12-15 minutes until soft to the touch and aldente. Drain and rinse in cold water in a colander and set aside.

3Chop all of your vegetables. You do not need to use the vegetables I have used in my recipe just look and see what you have in your refrigerator and make it colorful. The goal is to cut your vegetables very thin and uniform in size into about 2 inch long very thin segments. If you make them too long they will not fit into the rice wrappers. If you want to use the vegetables I did then cut the carrots into thin 2 inch segments. I used a victrola tool, much like a mandolin to get the really thin slices or just use a knife. Cut the cucumbers into thin 2 inch segments. Cut the mung beans in half. Cut your snow peas into thing strips lengthwise. Cut bell peppers into thin slices. Remove your cilantro, parsley, mint leaves from the stems. Set aside.

4Soak your rice wrappers in cool water in a large plate for about 20 seconds. Transfer your rice paper to a tea towel to soak up the excess water. Then lie your rice roll on a clean surface. Your rice roll should be soft and pliable but not too wet or it will be difficult to roll and may tear. Only work with one rice paper at a time as if they get too wet they will tear and if soaking together they will stick together.

5Rolling up your rainbow veggie rice rolls. (Practice makes perfect and do not be frustrated with your first couple of tries, I promise you can do it. Do not put too much filling as it will be difficult to roll) Set your soaked and dried rice paper on your clean work surface. On the section closest to you, layer on top of your rice wrapper a just a few strands of soaked and drained bean thread vermacelli noodles. (I used kitchen scissors to cut them into smaller threads). Then I put on a couple of slices of carrots, cucumber, snow peas, mung beans, red bell pepper and 2 half slices of the shrimp. Make sure that you leave at least a 2 inch gap on the sides . Now fold in sides of rice wrapper over the vegetables. Then very carefully whilst holding the sides roll up the rainbow veggie roll tightly. Repeat with the remaining veggie spring rolls.

6Make the Asian dipping sauce: In a small bowl add the ponzu sauce or fish sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, chopped lemon grass, galangal or ginger, scallion, chili peppers to taste, cilantro, garlic sugar or sugar alternative and keffir lime leaves. If you like your sauce more spicy add more chili, if you like your sauce more sour add more lime juice, if you like your sauce more salty add more ponzu or fish sauce, if you like your sauce more sweet add more sugar or sugar alternative. (If you do not have access to keffir lime leaves and lemon grass, etc. no worries just leave out as the sauce will still be delicious)

7Serve Rainbow Veggie rolls with special Asian dipping sauce and enjoy.

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  • Bams Kitchen

    I am sorry that your currently unable to leave a comment. We are having some server issues and working to rectify this asap. Thank you for your patience. BAM

  • No doubt that these spring rolls have rainbows of colors and flavors and with the dipping sauce. . . that makes it complete. I hope you are having a great week, BAM.

  • These rolls are in my to do list for a while, only I haven’t found the time to make them. They look absolutely delicious and refreshing and you made me start thinking when to try them out!

  • This is one of my favourite things to order on Vietnamese restaurants, lovely recipe

  • I love that last shot of Hong Kong. I didn’t realize you had so many green spaces and hiking spots. One of these days, perhaps we’ll get out that way! Your spring rolls look delicious and healthy. I love spring rolls in warmer weather. They fill me up without feeling overly stuffed and they are also cooling to my body. I’ll have to make these this spring or summer. 🙂

  • Kumar’s Kitchen

    Bam,these rolls look divine… we love these rainbow rolls so much…we could have them everyday with a smile….light,fresh,appetizing and a perfect summer snack or lunch

  • Your timing couldn’t have been better as I just bought some wrappers and plan to try my hand at spring rolls. Mastering the slippery rice papers should be interesting. Thank you for sharing your recipe, Bobbie…your rolls look beautiful.

  • www.cosmopolitancurrymania.com

    I do agree that HK is lush inspite of being called a concrete jungle. Your rolls look perfect. These look so fresh and tasty! YUM!!

  • Bobbi, these are absolutely gorgeous! I love spring rolls but it’s been a long time since I’ve made them at home. Looks like a fun weekend meal 🙂

  • Love these rolls! I make them quite often, especially in the summer. I can never make too many, because they have a way of disappearing! Beautiful photo your son took! Gorging-great word!

  • Yum! I was just trying to figure out how to use up all my leftover rice noodles. Perfect solution!

  • Hi Bobbi – you know I have wanted to make these spring rolls for ages (I used to eat the fried ones but these are much more suited to my lifestyle now). After seeing these delicious ones, I am promising myself to make these soon…it would be perfect for a picnic. I already have the bean thread noodles so I’m halfway there. : ) Thanks!

  • Heaven on a plate Bam. Why deep fry everything!

  • I love these spring rolls- sometimes I make my own version using leftover meat, poultry or seafood and fresh veggies.

  • I love these rolls, especially during warm weather…these rolls are made to perfection!
    Thanks for the recipe Bobbi…hope you are enjoying your week 😀

  • Pam

    Looks delicious, and I’ve got to give it a try! I like your blog and thanks for the post!

  • Robyn

    Oh, Bobbi, these are beautiful! I love the fresh crunch of spring rolls and so many fabulous flavours in one bite. I have not used bean thread vermicelli noodles but have always wanted to try them. This is the perfect chance to do that. Love your step by step instructions because I will need them! lol. Your photography is outstanding!
    Have a great Friday.

  • Your recipes are so colorful!

  • We love spring rolls.. it’s about time to make them! I love your version and your dipping sauce as well. I have some fish sauce but it isn’t called for in too many recipes around here. It certainly is the strangest sauce isn’t it?? Definitely one of a kind. I’m glad you found a great replacement. Now you put my lunches to shame.. I hope your boys know how lucky they are to get rainbow veggie spring rolls for lunch instead of peanut butter sandwiches! xx

  • I love Fresh Spring Rolls and that dipping sauce — oh it looks amazing!

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade

    MMmmm I love fresh rolls like this – perfect for summery dinners and quick healthy lunches 🙂

  • Charlotte

    Hi Bam, thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks lovely! I am regularly organising “cooking workshops” with some friends and after having done cupcakes, truffles, Christmas cookies, pizza, sushi and raviolis, I was running our of ideas for cooking recipes that are fun to do together on a rainy Sunday. Looks like the next workshop will be springrolls!

    PS: Don’t know why but I can never comment on your bog using my WordPress or Twitter account.

  • cherisavoryspoon

    Hi Bam, tried to comment last week was not able to. Will be making these veggie rolls,

    • Bams Kitchen

      Dear Cheri, I am so sorry you were not able to leave a comment last week. Actually no one could as I was having some problems with my server. Might have to switch hosting companies if I cannot get this sorted. So sorry for the inconvenience. Take Care, bAM

  • cherisavoryspoon

    Ooops, did not finish, my husbands works with this wonderful woman who tried to teach us how to make rolls just like this, need more guidance, this is perfect. Thanks!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Cheri, these little rice papers can be so slippery when wet. I myself need at least 2 to make just to warm up with before I could ever serve one to a guest. However, whether perfectly wrapped or a little less than perfectly wrapped they are so delicious with the dipping sauce.

  • Adri

    I have never made Spring Rolls, nor have I used rice papers, but this post has given me the courage and information to give them a try! These sound particularly flavorful. Thanks!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Adri, if you can make your own pasta by hand you most certainly can roll spring rolls, but it does take patience. I am on my way to make my rounds and looking forward to catching up with you. Chow, BAM

  • I have been wanting to make these for the longest time, but the rice paper scares me! Yours look perfect!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Kristi, those little rice papers can be very slippery and fragile. Just a little practice and get the rice papers dry first and I bet you will be a pro before no time. Take care, BAM

  • Tried store-bought fresh rolls so many times but never took interest/trouble in making them it home. Thanks to your efforts in describing the recipe step by step with pictures….I believe I can give it a try at home now. It is really a rainbow veggie roll in every sense. Love all the colors, warmth, beauty you’ve put in this special post of yours 🙂

  • Kathleen Richardson

    BAM, a perfect dish for a beautiful spring day, as it is here. The contrasts in your son’s photo are wonderful. That picture is definitely a keeper. My son worried about me dropping my mini iPad in the river whenever I leaned out over the bridge railing to take pics, so he bought me a cover for it, with a strap to hang it around my neck!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Kathleen. I can kind of picture you wading over a river with your mini ipad draped over your neck. Well I hope you at least you have a fashion strap and a cool hello kitty cover for it too… Miss you and hope you are doing well. Take Care, BAM

      • Kathleen Richardson

        Since you’re introduced me (us) to rice wrappers, I’m having a great time coming up with new fillings. Great new ways to use veggies and to use up leftovers (veggies or whatever) in my frig!

        • Bams Kitchen

          Hello Kathleen, so nice to hear from you. I am delighted to hear that the rice wrappers are a new culinary fad in the step by step kitchen. I love them too and as I have a gluten intolerance this is a a great alternative way to enjoy a roll. think of you often and hoping you are doing well. Take Care, BAM

  • I love the freshness of spring rolls. We typically order them when we go to a Thai restaurant. Maybe one day I will make them!

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