Intro: Spring Rolls: a Healthier Alternative to Egg Rolls
So these spring rolls are the bad boys that inspired me to create the Skin Eating Prank. If you do the prank, you'll be left with lots of wrap and you might not know what to do with them. If you do these spring rolls, you might have 1 extra wrap to play the prank on someone.
Either way, these spring rolls are ultra good. And as stated in the title, they are a wonderful alternative to egg rolls because they are not fried. These rice wrapped rolls are so easy to make, you'll be wondering why you paid $6.95 for 3 of them when you can easily make 30-40 for just a few bucks more.
A quick thank you to my mom who used to make these for me when I was younger and too stubborn to bother to earn anything. Also thanks to my cousin, my older brother, and my sister-in-law for helping me to perfect the little steps that makes a perfect spring roll.
Step 1: Ingredients
Package of rice paper wrap
2 lbs of ground beef
1 package of vermeilli rice noodles
8-12 pieces of cilantro
1 cup of bean sprouts
Sweet chili sauce
Rice wraps can be found in most Asian stores or in the Asian aisle of grocery stores. The rice wraps typically comes in square and circle shape; I have always found it easier to wrap spring rolls using the square ones.
While I used ground beef in my rolls, you can use any meat of your choice including chicken, pork, turkey, and the popular shrimp. You can even go vegetarian and use tofu.
There is truly no limit to the vegetables you want to put into your spring roll. Yes, even spinach works. It's fun to explore and see what flavorful spring roll you will get.
Please note that where I live bean sprouts are difficult to get super fresh. I bought these the previous night and they were already starting to brown so I took the brown ones and the bean end of the bean sprout out
Step 2: Prepping
1. Peel and shred carrots. Place in bowl.
2. Wash bean sprouts and place into a bowl.
3. Wash then tear or cut each romaine lettuce into smaller parts. Disgard the thick stem portion of each leaf. Place the lettuce into a bowl.
4. Wash then chop cilantro and place into a bowl.
5. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add noodles into pot and stir to ensure that the noodles do not clump together. Turn off stove, remove pot to a cooler surface and allow noodle to continue to soften. When noodles are soft enough (like how spaghetti noodles are done) dump noodle into a colander. Wash noodles in cold water to prevent further cooking of noodles. Allow noodles to drain then place into a bowl.
6. In a sauté pan cook the beef until it is almost fully cooked. Drain excess oil if necessary. Add 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce and 3 tablespoon of soy sauce. Add salt, and pepper for taste. Mix well then transfer meat into a bowl when fully cooked.
Step 3: Assembling the Spring Rolls
Now it's time for the fun part: assembling the spring roll. You should have your 6 main ingredients already set to go. Add 2 large plates or trays next to them. One will be for assembling the spring rolls on and the other will be for stacking your spring rolls onto.
1. In a large sauté pan pour 1.5 to 2 inches of hot water. The water should be hot but not too hot to burn your fingers if you touch it. I like to use hot water straight from the faucet. I place the pan on the burner and if it starts to get too cool, I turn the stove on to warm to keep the water at the ideal temperature.
2. Open the wrap package and pull out a single wrap. Fully submerge wrap into the water. Then quickly flip and submerge wrap again into the water. When you take the wrap out, it should still feel a bit firm. But by the time you finish making the spring roll, it will soften perfectly.
3. Place wrap onto one of the plates with one corner facing you.
4. Add lettuce, noodles, beef, carrots, bean sprouts, and cilantro to the lower mid center of wrap as shown in the pictures.
5. Pull the corner wrap closest to you up to cover as much of the ingredients as possible.
6. Pull in the 2 side corners.
7. Carefully lift, squeeze, and roll wrap towards the last corner. Hurray, you will have made your first spring roll. Place it onto the other plate.
8. Repeat steps 2-7 until you finish making spring rolls.
BONUS: I am updating this with a video of how to wrap. Click above or click here to see the video.
9. For your dipping sauce you can use sweet chili sauce or hoisin sauce by itself. You can also do a peanut sauce which is 1 part peanut butter mixed with 2 parts hoisin sauce. You can also add soy sauce to thin out the sauce a bit. There are a variety of sauces you can make for dipping. Don't be bashful on trying different ones.
When serving spring rolls, they are typically cut on diagonally at the middle. It makes for great presentation to see what they look like on the inside. I like to eat them whole because I pig out on them.