Living in Texas, I’ve learned to embrace the idea of giving my stovetop and oven a break during the hottest time of the year by turning to no-cook dishes. Now that I’m in the middle of a move as well, and without a full kitchen, these kinds of meals have become a necessity. With the abundance of fresh produce available during the summer, there are endless ways to enjoy a heaping salad. However, sometimes you want to introduce an element of fun beyond the bowl.
How about swapping your dish for rice paper wrappers and eating with your hands instead of a fork? Vietnamese spring rolls (summer rolls) are one of my favorite Asian options to beat the heat. While you can certainly order them at restaurants, it’s so much more fun and economical to make them at home. With no-fuss ingredients and just a few minutes, you can enjoy this refreshing and healthy meal that will satisfy both your hunger and your thirst without weighing you down.
Just like summer salads, there is an infinite number of ways to stuff rice paper, so this meal is a great way to clean out your vegetable drawer. In fact, this recipe was inspired by all the ingredients I already had on hand.
As for the sauce, it’s a great way to get miso, or fermented soybeans, into your diet. Miso has been shown to aid in digestion, provide the body with beneficial bacteria and contain high amounts of antioxidants. Because miso has such a strong flavor, a little goes a long way. You’ll most likely end up with some sauce left over, which you can save and add to salads. It also pairs beautifully with fish, especially salmon.
The trickiest part of this recipe lies in preparing the rice paper properly. If you’ve never worked with it before, take care not to get your rice paper too wet or soft, or it will be impossible to roll. It should be slightly firm when it comes out of the water. Also, have all of your ingredients at the ready so you can stuff and roll as soon as the rice paper has been moistened. The longer it sits, the softer and stickier it will become.
It may take a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but once you do, you won’t want to stop rolling!
Salmon Spring Rolls with Sesame Miso Sauce
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
For the Spring Rolls:
6 rice paper wrappers (22 centimeters)
6 ounces canned salmon (I used wild Alaskan)
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded napa cabbage
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
Prep all ingredients and set up on a surface. Dip a rice paper wrapper into a bowl of warm water. Make sure to wet all sides. Remove the softened and pliable rice paper and place on a clean surface. Place filling ingredients on the side closest to you. Fold ends of the rice wrapper over the filling. Take the edge closest to you, tuck it over the filling and continue to roll until it’s closed and snug. Repeat with remaining wrappers and ingredients.
To make the sauce, add all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine.
Serve immediately with sauce for dipping.
Per serving: Calories 318; Fat 4 g (Saturated 0 g); Carbohydrate 49 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 10 g; Protein 22 g
Min Kwon, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian who specializes in food sensitivities. She has a passion for translating the science of nutrition into real-life, applicable advice and tips. In her healthy food blog, The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman, she focuses on sharing simple yet healthy recipes made from wholesome, REAL foods.