Fresh Spring Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Fresh Spring Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
Prep Time : 15 minutes  |  Cook Time : 15 minutes  |  Servings : 20 rolls

Perfect for a party or a fun dinner, these fresh spring rolls are super yummy and fun to eat! Thanks to Chef Elizabeth Schandelmeier Gilgunn of Slow Cooked Pittsburgh for sharing her recipe with us! Note: the cook time is only 15 minutes, but allow 30 – 45 minutes to wrap the spring rolls… unless you have lots of helpers in the kitchen Smile We’ve including a photo of the rice paper (above) so you’ll know what to buy. 


For the spring rolls:

1 package rice paper wrappers
1 package mung bean or rice vermicelli
2 Tbs. neutral oil suitable for sautĂ©ing (I prefer safflower)
2 carrots
˝ head cabbage
1 cup Sprouts (any assortment will do)
1-inch piece ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. tamari

For the dipping sauce:
1 lb. spicy peppers (I have used ripened banana, Thai bird, jalapeno and other peppers—this depends on your heat preference)
2 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger
˝ cup rice vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 cup water


For the spring rolls:

1. Pre-soak vermicelli in very hot water while you are preparing the vegetable filling for the spring rolls (approx 5 - 10 minutes). 

2. Begin heating wok or skillet on high flame. While it is heating, finely grate carrots and cabbage either by hand (easiest with a box grater) or using the shredder attachment on your food processor. Mince garlic and ginger, mix with grated vegetables and sprouts. Add oil to hot pan and immediately add vegetable mixture, stirring constantly (if your pan is small, stir fry your vegetables in small batches). Cook each batch briefly, 2-4 minutes. Remove vegetables to a large bowl and reserve. 

3. Strain vermicelli and rinse with cool water. Chop noodles into short lengths and combine with vegetable mixture. Add tamari and mix well. 

4. To assemble spring rolls, lightly soak one rice paper wrapper in water until it begins to soften (10-15 seconds). Remove wrapper from water and use fingers to remove excess water. Lay wrapper on a flat surface and place two tablespoons of vegetable/noodle mixture into center (if your wrappers are square, place as a diamond in front of you). There are several methods for folding the paper, but the one I find easiest is to first fold the sides in toward the center, then fold the bottom flap over the filling, tucking the end under the filling and then continue to roll until sealed. Your spring roll may seem a bit limp when first made, but the rice wrapper will become more firm as it dries. 

For the sauce:

1. Mince and combine peppers, garlic and ginger. (Remember that the heat in a pepper comes from its membrane and seeds, so if you want a very mild sauce you must remove these parts. I prefer a good heat contrast with the sweetness so I include every part of the pepper except the stem. ) If you are mincing your peppers by hand, take caution that the heat may sting your skin and be certain not to rub your eyes! Alternatively, you can use your food processor with satisfactory results. 

2. Add the rice vinegar to your pepper mixture and allow to sit. (This mixture can be used as a sauce or condiment on its own and will last refrigerated for months. )

3. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Allow this mixture to cook until syrupy (30-45 minutes), remove from heat, add in pepper mixture and stir. 

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