Light, yet filling and full of flavour. 

These are a light tasty treat which will fill you up without giving you that overly full, bloated feeling. Perfect for warm Summer evenings or as a lighter lunch.

The beauty of these is that the filling possibilities are endless. You can go vegan, vegetable, meat, raw, cooked, colourful, plain… Whatever you like!

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Fresh spring roll are made with rice paper wraps. They are made from simple ingredients such as rice, water, tapioca flour, and salt, flattened and dried to a wrap. These are more readily available in supermarkets now, but you may need to nip to a local speciality food market to get some. This in itself is a great opportunity to explore a whole new world of ingredients. I’ve always found the customer service very high and the staff have always been on hand to give ideas and suggestions for the wide array of  foods on offer.
Back to the rolls.
The rolls are great value as you normally get about 20 sheets for no more than £2. They are traditionally eaten within North Vietnamese cuisine, and as such those flavours work very well with the rolls.
However, don’t let this stop you experimenting and trying different flavours and spices. I love Eastern food, so relish the chance to concoct different dishes.

Rice Papers
The sheets are generally softened in hot or cold water depending on instructions, however the ones I bought had no instructions. I tried both and found hot water was better.
I dipped in hot water for about 30 seconds then placed onto a dry, clean tea towel and gave 1 pat, just to take off the surface water.
You still want them slightly tacky so when rolled they stick together. I would dip and roll as you go. You can dip batches, but I find they stick together a little.

They may take a bit of practice, and to fill you want a neat line of filling in the centre, tuck in sides and roll over into a tight roll. Do not roll too tight otherwise the filling may break through; practice makes perfect with these. Serving size… well where to start! 1 is tantalising, 2 is reassuring, 3 is great, 4 is better!

 

Crayfish and Vegetable Peanut Rolls
Using peanut butter, miso paste and soy to make a delicious filling.

Ingredients
1 pack of pre cooked crayfish tails
1 carrot, grated
¼ cucumber into thin wafer thin batons
1 spring onion into wafer thin strips
1 handful spinach
1 handful bean sprouts
1 handful baby corn
1 small can water chestnuts
1 lime
½ bunch coriander, chopped
¼ bunch Thai basil
1 heaped teaspoon of peanut butter, I used reduced fat, to save some calories
½ teaspoon miso paste
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
Salt and pepper

Method
In a bowl mix the cooked crayfish tails, grated carrot, cucumber, spring onion, thai basil and chopped coriander.
In a frying pan on high, heat oil and fry the bean sprouts and sweet corn and spinach until cooked, about 3-5 minutes, add the peanut butter, soy sauce, miso and lime to pan, heat and mix.
Add pan ingredients to other ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly so the sauce covers everything.
Of course all vegetables could be raw, just heat sauce ingredients in a pan, pour over mix through.
Taste and season and roll as above.
Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Tip: leave out crayfish for a vegetarian treat, remember to check the soy you buy for vegetarian status too.

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Vegan California Roll
Fresh and vibrant rolls to savour!

Ingredients
1 carrot, grated
¼ cucumber cut into wafer thin strips
1 spring onion cut into wafer thin strips
¼ handful coriander, chopped
1 avocado into strips
1 lime
1 slab/nest vermicelli noodles, cooked as per instructions
1 small handful salted peanuts ( optional )
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper

Method
Mix cooked noodles, coriander, carrot, lime juice sesame oil and season to taste.
Layer this mix with strips of cucumber, spring onion peanuts and avocado, roll, enjoy with sweet chilli sauce

Tip: You could add chicken or cooked prawns for a meaty treat.

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Hoisin Prawn Rolls
Classic flavours with a twist.

Ingredients
1 handful of raw prawns, deveined and shelled
1  clove garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of root ginger, skinned and chopped
1 handful bean sprouts
1 small handful of bamboo shoots
1 red chili deseeded (unless you like it hotter than the sun) and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
¼ bunch coriander chopped
1 spring onion chopped into wafer thin strips
¼ cucumber chopped into wafer thin strips
Hoisin sauce for dipping
Salt and pepper

Method
In a hot frying pan or wok cook ginger, bean sprouts, prawns and bamboo shoots add garlic after a minute and cook for 5-6 minutes until prawns are pink and cooked through.
Take off heat, add chilli, coriander, hoisin and fish sauce.
Season to taste.
Construct with spring onion and cucumber strips. Roll and enjoy with extra hoisin for dipping.

Tip: Classically Hoisin is eaten in crispy duck pancakes; why not try these lighter versions with duck instead.

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It may look like a lot of ingredients are used in each recipe but there are so many different meals you can make with them for at least a month after. Stirfrys, noodle broths, soups and stews.

However you make them these rolls are definitely worth a go. I must admit they are now a firm favourite in our house now.

Enjoy!