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Appetizers, Economical, Gluten Free, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Spicy, Stuffing Stuff, Vegetarian

Rainbow Spring Rolls

by Nick

These might top the list of things that I’ve made that not only are healthy but just look healthy. As a general rule, anything that is this colorful (naturally) is probably very good for you. You could eat as many of these as you want and feel pretty good about it.

My problem with these rolls is while they look amazing and are super-crunchy, they actually are a bit on the bland side for me. I solved that problem by mixing up a quick spicy peanut sauce that kicks them up a notch.

These are totally fun and once you get the hang of rolling them you can bust out enough for a meal in no time.

Yield
10-12 rolls
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Rainbow Spring Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 avocado, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • Rice paper wrappers
  • Spicy Peanut Sauce:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions

1) For peanut sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until mixture thickens and is a single consistency. If the sauce is very thick, add more water. If it's too thin, let it cook down a bit more.

2) Wash all the veggies and slice then very thin. For the carrots, use a grater to shred them or just buy shredded carrots. For the cabbage, buy a small one and cut it into quarters, then cut out the center stem and slice it into thin strips.

3) To make a roll, get a plate of warm water ready and add a single wrapper to the plate. Let it sit for 5-10 seconds and flip it. Once it has loosened, but isn't completely soggy, move it to a clean surface.

4) Add veggies in any order you like to one half of the wrapper. Leave about an inch around the edges to make rolling easier.

5) Tuck the sides of the wrapper over and start rolling it away from you. As you roll, keep tension on the wrapper so the roll stays nice and tight. Once your roll is done, slice it in half and put it on a plate. If you mess one up, don't worry about it. Just start over.

Serve the rolls with the spicy peanut sauce which is good warm or at room temperature.

Veggie Prep

There is a common issue when making rainbow colored dishes: BLUE.  There is just nothing blue in the natural world that you can eat. You might think blueberries are blue, but in reality they are more of a purple and also they don’t go great in spring rolls. So I kind of just skipped the BLUE in ROY G. BIV and I think that’s okay.

I hit all the other colors though with this line-up of veggies.

colorful

No blues…

Of course, since we are going to be wrapping these in rolls, it’s important to take your time with the veggie prep. Slice the peppers as thin as you can and grate the carrots so they are an even consistency. You can also buy shredded carrots and cabbage in a pinch.

Treat the avocado the same as the peppers: thin slices.

I would say it took me 10 minutes just to get the veggies sliced correctly.

sliced

Shredded, sliced, diced.

Making Spring Rolls

If you are new to making spring rolls, here’s some advice from someone who actually really sucks at making them:

1) Don’t get rushed. The rice paper wrappers are a bit on the fragile side and they can sense your rushing and will rip on you at the worst time.

2) Have extras. You’ll get better at rolling after you do a few, but I still probably mess up one for every 3-4 I do correctly. Having extra wrappers on hand is good insurance. This is normally fine because they usually come in packs of 50 I think.

To actually make a roll, get a plate of water ready and set the wrapper in the water for a few seconds per side. It will start to loosen up.

wrap

A few tears are okay.

After about 10 seconds, the wrapper will be loose, but not soggy and you can transfer it to a clean surface. I had some really crappy wrappers this time so they were broken and had cracks and stuff. This made it harder to roll, but hopefully you won’t have this issue.

Once your wrapper is soft and on a clean surface, just pile on your veggies!  You can add them in any order. Just be sure to leave some room around the edges for rolling and only add the veggies to one half of the wrapper.

starting

Work slowly.

Then fold the ends over the veggies and roll it into a tight cylinder. Try to keep some light tension on the roll as you work so it stays nice and tight. This is easier said than done, but you’ll get the hang of it.

done

Seen better. Seen worse.

These weren’t the best rolls i’ve ever made from a technical standpoint, but they were super colorful!

cool

Cool.

The Sauce

As I mentioned, while these rolls were really pretty, they were a bit lacking in the flavor department. I figured a quick peanut sauce would solve the issue.

sauce

Important sauce.

Mince your garlic really fine and add all the ingredients to a small pot over medium heat. It should come together quickly and thicken nicely. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water to thin it out. You should only need to heat it for a few minutes.

This sauce is actually much spicier than it looks. It brings some heat. If you want tone it down a bit, reduce or eliminate the red pepper flakes in the recipe.

spicy

Spicier than it looks.

Pile these rolls up and serve them with a bowl of the sauce.

Betsy and I actually made a meal out of these and I thought they were plenty filling.

served

Served up!

Even though I don’t actually have kids, I imagine that kids would love these. They are colorful and on the tiny side.

Do you think your kids would eat these since they are so colorful and fun? 

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25 comments on “Rainbow Spring Rolls

  1. I also l like to put fresh basil, mint and/or cilantro (whatever I happen to have on hand!) in mine! Also, I’m typically against pre-prepped veggies, but this is one time I actually prefer the pre grated carrots. I like that they are somewhere in between a grate and a matchstick. It adds a nice crunch that I lose when I grate them. Add some steamed shrimp and you have a meal!

  2. You were expecting decisions in the Hollingsworth or Windsor cases today, I see. Sorry the Supremes had to disappoint!

  3. Since you asked, I make these at home, and my children absolutely love them. I sometimes as a bit of shrimp, fresh herbs, or some sort of lettuce, but, basically, they are the same. Very nice photographs.

    1. Glad to hear your kids like these. We’re always trying to find healthy things our kids will eat and with all the colors in them, these rolls will likely do the trick! We’ll probably tone down the spiciness/heat of the sauce, but all in all I’m excited to make these.

  4. My kids do eat spring rolls and love them…but they also eat sashimi which probably makes them weird little kids to begin with! I’d love to say that I make them, but that’s my mom’s department; I’m in charge of the peanut sauce and since we adults like things *very* spicy I usually make two versions so everyone is happy.

  5. Not a chance that my 9 yr old would eat these, but he’s a royal pain in the ass food-wise.

    I, too, put mint and cilantro or Thai basil in my spring rolls. Such a burst of flavor from them. Great idea here – I’m definitely sharing it with our CSA members. Thanks!

  6. I made these last week with my grand-daughter and the family loved them. The lady who owned the Vietnamese market advised me that one brand was much easier to roll than the other. I think our pkg had about 35 wrappers. Also we had our water for dipping nearly boiling and just dipped them in and out ( no holding or turning them over) These wraps were stronger than ones I had used in the past, and not a single one tore. We just dipped once, laid them on a plate with minimum handling. They finished softening as we selected the veggies. Our sauce was similar to yours with- out the hottest spices. Two grandaughters choose to eat Vegan, but we all enjoyed them.

    1. THat’s great! The dipping trick is a great one. I’ll definitely try that one next time. Thanks for the comment!

  7. I am interested in a copy of the Veggie Spring Rolls. I am a Senior Citizen with limited computer skills. I’ve scoured your site and cannot find any way to print from the screen.
    Thank you,
    Ruth

  8. I know my kids would eat them. My nine year old is reading this over my shoulder and saying, “We have spring roll wrappers already, can we make them?”

  9. I just want you to know this peanut sauce is the absolute best one I have ever used! Its absolutely delicious! I use it not only with the spring rolls but I use it to make chicken pad Thai. It’s ridiculous how good this recipe is!!!

  10. Thank you for sharing your recipe and showing folks the right way to cook. You are a good guy.
    I hate other website that often show the wrong way, it never come out right. It is very discouraging for new learner.
    I am Vietnamese, and often make Spring rolls.
    Traditional Spring roll has rice noodles, lettuce, basil, pork, shrimp & wrapper of course. But lots of work.
    I use light beer instead of water to soften wrapper
    Dip once or use a thin clean damp cloth, place wrapper your plate, simply wipe wrapper both side, give it a minute. It will be soft enough for you to wrap.
    Meat:
    I use any kind of deli meat, or left over roast pork, rotisseries chix, shrimp cocktail, etc…or whatever you have in the fridge.
    Veggies:
    I like to use sliced cucumber, basil, avocado, lettuce. Then wrap it up.
    Sauce:
    I just heat up low sodium chix broth, mix in bowl with hoisin sauce, sugar, and Sriracha chili sauce.
    If you don’t have chix broth, use boil water will do. No need to measure, just put hoisin sauce in bowl, then add water or chix broth until sauce thin enough for dipping, then add use sugar, hot sauce as you wish. You will be able to tell if it tastes right. Use your own judgement.
    There are 2 kind of rice wrappers, one is for egg rolls (thinner) and one is for spring roll (thicker)
    Three ladies brand and OK brand is recommended, they are tough and easy to do the job.

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