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Asian spring rolls are light and healthy

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a perfect light lunch or dinner option for sunny and warm spring days. They are easy to prepare and not fried and heavy like egg rolls. Fresh spring vegetables and herbs can be stuffed inside and accompanied with a sweet or spicy dipping sauce. Spring rolls also make excellent appetizers for a cocktail party or outdoor summer barbecue.

Spring Roll

Spring Roll Recipes

 

Classic Asian Spring Rolls

Makes 4 servingsIngredients:
1 ounce rice vermicelli
4 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
4 large cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined, halved)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Thai basil
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 leaf lettuce, chopped
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped peanutsDirections:
1. Boil a pot of water and cook vermicelli for 3 to 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.2. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip wrappers into water one at a time for 1 second, just to soften. Lay wrappers on a flat surface and place 2 shrimp halves on each wrapper in the center then top with vermicelli, basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce. Be sure to leave about a 2 inch border on each side. To roll, fold sides in, then tightly roll wrapper to form a log.3. In a bowl, whisk together fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce. In another bowl, combine hoisin sauce and peanuts. Serve spring rolls with dipping sauces.

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Makes 8 rollsIngredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, finely sliced
1 zucchini, finely sliced like matchsticks
1 carrot, peeled, finely sliced like matchsticks
1 leek, trimmed, finely sliced like matchsticks
5 ounces mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed dry chilies or hot red-pepper flakes
Salt to taste
8 (14-by-9-inch sheets) phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
Store-bought chili sauce, for servingDirections:
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté all vegetables with the garlic and red pepper over high heat for 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Take vegetables out of pan using a slotted spoon and let drain and cool on paper towels.2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and brush a sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter and fold one buttered side over the other. Slice ends off to make a square 6-inch by 6-inch sheet. Continue with the rest of the phyllo. Brush the squares with more melted butter and top with vegetables. Roll one corner of the phyllo toward the middle. When you reach the center, tuck in the sides to encase the filling, then continue to roll up. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.3. Put rolls on a baking sheet and season with pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until crispy and golden. Serve right away with chili sauce for dipping.For other spring recipes, visit these links:

Making Vietnamese Rolls

Spring dessert recipesSucculent strawberry recipesSangria for a sensational spring and summer drink

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