People close to me know I have a small soapbox I keep (figuratively) tucked away for times when I hear someone say, “Oh, I’ve wanted to make that recipe but it looks hard.” I then launch into a five minute diatribe on why it’s not and how to tackle it, with enough enthusiasm to convince that person it’s actually quite easy. Spring rolls are one such "hard" item I’ve convinced numerous people to make — and enjoy!
Here’s why I love spring rolls: they're like a salad, only in a convenient, light wrap. Spring rolls can be packed with in a damp paper towel and taken on the road for a great road trip snack. The filling combinations are limitless. (I’ve even been known to throw in some quinoa or unusual produce like roasted sweet potatoes.) And you can create flavorful dips that make eating spring rolls even more fun.
Have I sold you yet? Hopefully!
During the spring, I often have bags of snap peas and snow peas around the house for snacking, but these spring rolls have become a quick favorite for a light lunch. As mentioned above, I’ll wrap leftover, uncut spring rolls in a damp paper towel and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for the next day, along with a small container of this tahini sauce.
I also prefer the brown rice spring roll wrappers (to go with the brown rice noodles), but they can sometimes be hard to find. If you see them, snap up a few packages for future spring rolls!
Roasted Sugar Snap Pea & Scallion Spring Rolls with Tahini Sauce
Makes 8 spring rolls
For the spring rolls:
1/2 pound sugar snap peas (see Recipe Note)
1 bunch scallions
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces brown rice noodles
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup minced cilantro
8 spring roll wrappers
For the tahini sauce:
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons Sriracha
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Go over the snap peas and scallions, and remove any loose pieces. Rinse the snap peas and place in a roasting dish. Remove the roots and roughly 2 inches of the green tops of the scallions. Slice them in half lengthwise, then in half across. Cut each piece into smaller strips and add to the roasting pan with the snap peas. Toss with olive oil and roast until the peas and onions are tender and have turned bright green, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cook the brown rice noodles according to package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Set up a rolling station with the roasted snap peas and scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds, rice papers, a dish of hot water large enough to hold the spring roll wrappers, and a cutting board.
Soak one rice paper wrapper in the hot water for 10 to 15 seconds (you want it pliable enough to roll, but not too soft when taking it out of the water). Place the wrapper on a cutting board and layer with noodles, roasted peas and scallions, a sprinkle of cilantro and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. It’s best to eyeball as you go, knowing you should have enough noodles and vegetables for 8 spring rolls. Roll, tuck, and fold in sides as you go. (For step-by-step instructions, see: How to Make Spring Rolls.) Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the tahini sauce and transfer to a small bowl for dipping. Before serving, cut spring rolls in half.
The time for soaking the rice paper greatly depends on the heat of the water. Check the rice paper often after putting it in the water.
Depending on what's available at the time, snow peas also work well in this recipe.