WEST Kitchen week 4 – fresh spring rolls
Fresh Spring Rolls
Have you ever enjoyed a fresh spring roll? It’s one of my absolute favorite light meals; especially in the hot summer when I don’t want to cook. These are so easy to put together in advance of a party or meal. They can stay in the fridge for several hours; covered tightly so they don’t dry out. These are also customizable so if some people like different proteins or veggies, they can have them just the way they want. This recipe can be made 100% gluten free. Enjoy!
Knife skill to focus on
We are leaning in to the knife cut called julienne. It mean “matchstick” or thin stick cuts. We practice cutting various vegetables into the julienne cut for these spring rolls. As you practice, keep these knife skills in mind:
- Make “the claw” with your supporting hand. That means curling ALL your fingertips down and inward to protect them from the knife.
- Grasp the knife firmly with the forefinger and the thumb on the blade portion and the other 3 fingers around the handle. I know it takes some time to get used to this grip and I promise it will pay off over your lifetime. It will give more security and power in the knife hand.
- The first cut made should create a flat edge on the fruit or vegetable. This will make all subsequent cuts more stable and safe.
- Carry knives through the kitchen in the “blade down” position or laying flat on your cutting board
- Make sure your work station is set up safely with enough room for the entire cutting board and knife completely on top the table. Nothing should hang over the edge.
GINGER PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce (tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free eaters)
- 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup (add to taste)
- 1/2 medium lime, juiced (We didn’t have a lime so we used 6 drops of Lime Vitality essential oil)
- 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
- Hot water (to thin to a saucy consistency)
- 10-15 rice paper wraps
- 1 head butter lettuce (or any other soft lettuce)
- 2 cups of soft noodle; cooked – rice or bean vermicelli, somen, soba
- Herb of choice – mint and cilantro are traditional Vietnamese flavors
- Veggies of choice – julienne cut – cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, beets, daikon radish
- Protein of choice – thin cooked pork, shredded pork, steak slices, shrimp, etc…
- Prepare noodles as directed – until soft – and rinse with cold water. Set aside to drain.
- Prep stuffing ingredients by julienne cutting all the veggies and cooking/cooling the protein.
- Dip rice paper wrap into warm water for 2-3 seconds; it will quickly become soft and pliable. Lay out onto a work surface.
- Pile ingredients in a line close to one side (the side nearest to your body is the easiest for wrapping)
- Wrap the rice paper over and when you get the center, fold the ends in, continue wrapping forward until it is in a tight roll
- Optional: Serve with peanut dipping sauce. Mix all ingredients together for the peanut dipping sauce except for the warm water. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach a “saucy” consistency.
Practice knife skills with the julienne cut. Get into the kitchen and help prepare vegetables either for cooking or for raw snacking. Sometimes the thin “matchstick” cut of a julienned vegetable is just enough of a change to make it fun to snack on.
We julienned carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers this week.
We are going to make an oatmeal bar and talk about carbohydrates. We will NOT NEED KNIVES or CUTTING BOARDS.
How did this week go for you? Can I help with anything? Fill out the form to connect with me via email or scroll down to the bottom to leave a comment on this post.
See you again soon!