After my last little one was born, I became obsessed with egg rolls. You know, the deep fried, crispy, delicious ones. I couldn’t get enough.
Fast forward two and a half years, and I still love them. Thankfully, I’ve also fallen in with love fresh spring rolls filled with noodles, fresh veggies and herbs and decided that I needed to make them myself.
So I set out for the ingredients.
I bought cucumbers and carrots and the Vietnamese vermicelli (bean thread) noodles. But I couldn’t find the spring roll papers anywhere. I looked and looked and looked, but nothing.
Thankfully I learned something important as I was in Washington at a Saturday market. (Waiting in line for Thai food, of course. Seriously, I can’t get enough of the stuff.) As I stood there, I watched a woman assemble the fresh spring rolls and had a light bulb moment.
Duh, I already had the papers in my pantry! They sell them dry.
As soon as I got home I went through the pantry and, sure enough, there was a package of spring roll wrappers. With another bag of vermicelli. (I’m kind of fascinated with the Asian food aisle at Cash & Carry.)
It was time to get to work.
And this is what I got. Yum-O. The end.
Just kidding. I’m sure you’ll want to make some yourself. After all, they’re tasty, nutritious and frugal. The greatest food combination you can find.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 carrots, cut into thin strips (some might call this a julienne cut)
- 1 medium cucumber, cut into thick strips
- 8 medium to large lettuce leaves
- 1/4 of a package of vermicelli noodles – cook them according to the package
- 1 pkg dried spring roll wrappers
- Mint leaves
- Shallow bowl or pan with warm water, with a bigger diameter than the spring roll papers
First, soften a spring roll paper in the warm water for 5 – 10 seconds, until it’s slippery and soft. Take it out and put it on your clean work surface.
Next start assembling. I did it how I saw the lady at the Thai food cart did it and it worked really well.
Put down two leaves of lettuce in the middle for the base. On top of that, put 1/4 of your carrots, 1/4 of the cucumber and 1/4 of the noodles.
Take 1/4 of your mint, cilantro and basil, stack them up and cut them in half. Place that in a line on top of everything.
After that, use your burrito rolling skills and roll them up as tightly as you can.
These are so simple and great for summer. Especially if you have a garden. My carrots weren’t ready and my cucumbers died, so I bought those. But I picked the lettuce at a friend’s house, and got the mint, cilantro and basil from my own garden.
The spring roll papers and vermicelli were also inexpensive – only a few dollars for everything.
And it goes great with this Thai peanut dipping sauce. I was able to whip it up quickly with stuff I already had on hand.
Simple. Frugal. Yummy.