Monday, 10 March 2014

Vietnamese Spring Rolls - With Agave Roast Carrots.

Vietnamese spring rolls title

We all know that feeling. 

The, I-really-can't-be-bothered-to-cook-anything feeling, it's usually followed with either the rapid consumption of junk food, or the speedy dialling of the local take-away.


The only problem with this is that, actually, you always feel really guilty, stuffed, lethargic and poor-er than you did before.

Monday usually is the culprit to this. I don't like Mondays. (I currently am not a fan of weekdays either, but that's another deal)


I really like this recipe. If you can even call it that. Maybe I should call it assembly instead.

I really like this assembly, it's super quick, super tasty, and doesn't make you feel like a whale afterward.


How cool do rice wrappers look?! I can never quite believe that they are going to turn from their glass-like state to something so squidgy. But they do. 

When you are soaking the wrappers, don't be tempted to hold them under for too long. 10 seconds is plenty, even if they feel a little brittle still, in about a minute of sitting on the side, they will be malleable. Promise!


Time for a little origami!


Basically fold the top and bottom into the centre. . . 


and roll horizontally!


Although there is a little bit of give, don't over-fill the wrappers or it will be really difficult to roll up, other than that, it's so simple.






This is really nice served with salad for a light tea or lunch, the best bit is they keep quite well in the fridge for a couple of days, so you can make them in advance and pull them out when you need them. 

Before I had ever tried them, I did think the idea of the wrappers not being baked or fried like the more pastry-like wrappers of other Asian spring rolls of which I was used to, was a little strange. Only once you get over the fact that the outside is not crispy (although sometimes I like to bake them for 5 minutes to crisp them up anyway) I think I actually prefer these. They are lighter and I don't feel as guilty afterwards!

Recipe :
2 Carrots, julienned (see notes)
Agave (see notes)
1 Tsp Chilli Rock Salt
2 Spring Onions
1/4 Cup Glass Noodles
1 Tsp Harissa Paste
6 Rice Spring Roll Wrappers

1. Place the Carrot sticks in a roasting tin and drizzle with a small amount of the Agave, sprinkle with the Salt and place in a pre-heated oven (180c) for 10 minutes, or until soft.
2. In a bowl, cover the Noodles with Boiling Water, leave to soften for 5 minutes.
3. Drain the Noodles and stir in the Harissa.
4. Slice the Spring onions.
5. In a large mixing bowl, fill with tepid Water.
6. Take a Wrapper, soak it in the Water for 10 seconds, shake off the excess water, then place on a flat surface. The wrapper will continue to become more malleable after you remove it from the water.
7. Fill the wrapper with some of the Carotts, Onions, and Noodles.
8. Fold the top and bottom to meet in the middle. From the right side then roll the side in and then continue to roll over. (see notes!)
9. Sometimes I like to take the finished Spring Rolls and bake them on a tray for a couple of minutes in order to crisp the outside, but this isn't necessary! Serve with Soy Sauce and heaps of Leafy Salad.

Substitutions :
Carrots - Any veg can be used, I particularly like roasting Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato.

Agave - This is what I use, instead of the traditional "honey" roasted veg. I know strict Vegans don't use Honey, but the reason I don't use it, is mainly because I'm not really big on the flavour of Honey.

Notes :
Glass Noodles are sometimes just called Rice Noodles. I like them because they are not like Egg Noodles in any way whatsoever, they are really quick to prepare, and when they are wrapped up all tightly like this, they really add a lot of texture.

It is very difficult to explain how to roll these up, but I hope the pictures demonstrate pretty accurately! I've heard people struggle with it the first time, however I never had any problem. The wrappers, when damp become slightly tacky and stick together really well.

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