What’s the best way to enjoy crunchy raw veggies? Summer Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce. Trust me on this, they seem intimidating but are surprisingly easy, versatile and fast!
Can we talk about the last or so? Summer bliss. Ahhhh… 🙌 Warm weather, semi-low humidity and sun shine. I am soaking up every last minute of this glorious weather before winter.
To make this summer high even more fabulous, Summer Spring Rolls are in da house. I’m talking crisp fresh rolls loaded with Farmers Market veggies, thin noodles… and dripping in an insane Thai Peanut Sauce. Oh man is this good. So good. And don’t fret. So easy!
Here is the deal. The “hardest” or maybe slightly inconvenient part about making these bad boys is buying the rice paper. Only because you probably don’t have this ingredient lying around your pantry and you have to go the store, take out your wallet and buy it. I know right… so hard.
But good news here is, once you get thru this step, the rest is a breeze! And the rice paper packages are packed with lots of wrappers so you will have enough for a few spring roll parties.
Now onto the filling. It is summer time so fresh veggies is the way to go. Not to say you can’t use cooked or sautéed veggies, but right now fresh and raw is the way to go. As the base, it is essential that you have some sort of noodle. Either rice noodles, vermicelli, or very very thin angel hair pasta. Next add some greens. Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, they all work. Protein? Yea add that too! Chicken, tofu, shrimp, beef, peanuts.
Wait what about the crunch? Ohhhh my favorite part. Matchstick carrots, cucumbers, julienned cabbage, radishes, red onions, celery, bean sprouts, pineapple… just to name a few. OH and don’t forget some herbs. Basil, parsley, cilantro, mint. Personally I’m a basil lover, but other herbs are delicious too.
Last but not least, the moment I have been waiting for, the most insane, out of this world, lick your fingers and your plate, Thai Peanut Sauce! This incredible sauce is only slightly adapted from AlexandraCooks sauce and man is it good. Creamy, slightly spiced, and so good on everything! When I discovered Alexandra’s recipe last summer, we fell in love. Luckily we doubled the batch, froze a bunch of it and ate it all winter long.
A very very important part of making the whole process extra easy, is to do your mise en place. Meaning prep all of the veggies and ingredients for stuffing the spring rolls. Have them all sliced up and nicely organized in front of you. This will make it all go smoothly.
Stuff the rolls, roll them up and dip’em. That’s it. Spring rolls served up. Healthy, easy and surprisingly addicting. Summer is being good to us right now… why not enjoy it with some killer homemade spring rolls and Thai peanut sauce.
Summer Spring Rolls
Serves 4 (8 rolls) as a light lunch. Or make a heftier meal for 2 with some leftovers.
Notes: this recipe is SOOO versatile. Change up the veggies, add chicken or shrimp, or change the dipping sauce. Spring rolls can be made with animal protein or vegetarian or vegan. Anything is possible!
The curry paste and coconut milk can be found at most grocery stores nowadays. Also at Asian grocery stores or online, too.
The Thai Peanut Sauce doubles wonderfully. Simply save some in the fridge and the rest in the freezer in glass mason jars. Make sure to leave a little room at the top of each jar in case sauce expands. The sauce will thicken up in the fridge, so add a tiny bit of hot water to achieve desired consistency.
For the peanut butter, use the natural loose peanut butter. Not the processed pasty peanut butter.
Summer Spring Rolls
- 1/2 cup each julienned carrots
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, destemmed and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces vermicelli or rice noodles (the thinner the better)
- 8 Rice Spring Roll Papers
- Optional: fresh thin pineapple slices
- 8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, dried and pressed
- 4 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
Thai Peanut Sauce
Recipe adapted from AlexandraCooks All-Purpose Thai Peanut Sauce
Serves 3-3.5 cups depending on how much water added
- 13.5-ounce can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (light coconut milk works but sauce will be a little runnier)
- ¼ cup Thai red curry paste
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural creamy peanut butter*
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- About 1/4 cup water to desired consistency
Summer Spring Rolls
Slice tofu into large rectangle, drain, dry and press for at least 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime prepare, rice noodles or pasta based on the package instructions.
Toss pressed tofu in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, corn starch, soy sauce and brown sugar. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and toss in about 3 Tbsp sesame oil. Fry the tofu flipping on all sides to make sure they brown evenly, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Prepare and set out all for the veggies, herbs and noodles. Slice tofu into strips.
To assemble spring rolls, pour warm water into a shallow dish or skillet and immerse rice paper to soften for about 10 seconds.
Transfer to a damp cutting board. The rice paper is very delicate so be gentle and don’t worry if it takes a few failed attempts as it can be sticky.
Add a small handful of noodles, layer carrots, radishes, Swiss chard, basil and 2-3 pieces of tofu on top. Gently fold over one time then tuck in edges. Continue rolling until wrap is completely rolled up. Repeat until all 8 spring rolls are stuffed and wrapped up.
Thai Peanut Sauce
Put everything into a bowl and whisk. Add more water to desired consistency.
Serve wraps with a side of the Thai peanut sauce.