Fresh Spring Rolls with a Light Peanut Sauce

Happy Wednesday and thanks for all the great feedback on the natural sweeteners post. I think I might do another post on sugar addiction soon!

Moving right along, one of my favorite things to order at Thai or Vietnamese restaurants are fresh spring rolls. Not to be confused with their fried counterparts, fresh spring rolls are usually one of the healthiest options on the menu. They’re packed with shrimp or tofu, crisp fresh veggies, herbs and rice noodles and served with side of peanut sauce for dipping. I’ve had some great fresh spring rolls here in Richmond, but I think the best I’ve ever had were at Elizabeth St. Cafe in Austin. I have dreams about those poached shrimp spring rolls – they were amazing and came with not one, but three different types of dipping sauces. Oh so good!

A few years ago I found out that you can buy rice paper wraps and make fresh spring rolls at home and I’ve been hooked on them ever since! I’ve posted about making them before but never posted a recipe so I thought I should go ahead and make that happen today.

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Often times at restaurants the rolls are packed with rice noodles but since I’m following the Tone It Up nutrition plan and limiting my starchy carbs in the evening, I made this batch of rolls without the rice noodles. As it turns out these were probably my favorite homemade spring rolls to date. I loved all the extra vegetables. And just to keep with the lightened up mindset, I used PB2 instead of peanut butter for the sauce. So overall these rolls are really low in fat and calories – perfect for bikini weather. :)

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Fresh Spring Rolls with a Light Peanut Sauce
 
You may or may not use all the ingredients, especially the whole head of lettuce. Just store the leftovers in the fridge for later use.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 10 - 15 rice paper wrappers
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves separated and largest leaves cut in ½*
  • ½ cup cooked shrimp, shells and tails removed, diced
  • ½ cup plain tofu, sliced into small pieces
  • ½ cup cucumber, shredded
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded
  • ½ cup bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • fresh herbs like basil, cilantro or mint
Instructions
  1. Wet spring roll wrapper with warm water. (I usually heat a pot of water on the stove top (not letting it get to a boil) and once it's warm I put it in a bowl or plate that is large enough to fit the rice paper wrapper in.)
  2. Place wrapper on a hard surface. Place lettuce leaf on far left edge of wrapper.
  3. Place a little of each ingredient into the wrap - about 1 teaspoon each of shrimp, tofu, carrots, cucumbers, and bean sprouts into lettuce leaf. Top with 1 slice of avocado, ¼ tsp green onion and a one or two leaves of the fresh herbs.
  4. Roll wrapper from left to right, folding in the top and the bottom sides of wrapper toward the middle. Just before the wrapper is completely wrapped.
  5. Complete steps 1 to 4 for each wrapper. Serve with the Light Peanut Sauce (recipe below).

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Light Peanut Sauce
 
I used PB2 (peanut flour) in this recipe to keep it on the lighter side, but feel free to use regular peanut butter if that's what you have on hand. Sub 2 Tablespoons of regular peanut butter for the 4 Tablespoons of PB2 or peanut flour.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons peanut flour + 4 Tablespoons water*
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tamari, soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon crushed peanuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

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These little guys are perfect for warm spring/summer nights when you’re just not in the mood to turn on the oven, which is basically every night here in Richmond during the summer. :) Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. I had spring rolls last night at a restaurant that were less than impressive – these look amazing! :)

  2. I keep seeing more and more recipes with PB2 and think I’m going to have to try it. It’s interesting that the tone up plan also calls for limiting starchy carbs at night. Bob Harper’s “skinny rules” says that we should eliminate them altogether after 2 pm (including whole grains like wheatberries), it was something I hadn’t really thought about. The only thing that is hard for me about that is that I’m used to having sweet potates with dinner (or sometimes for dinner).

  3. I love spring rolls! We had a deconstructed bowl verson at a ‘barbecue’ Monday night. So good!

  4. Ahh, I love the spring rolls from Mekong and I’ve been wanting to make my own. I think I actually tried once and it was a big failure, but maybe I can tackle these : )

  5. ooh these look awesome! i can’t seem to perfect the peanut sauce no matter how many times i try, so this one shall satisfy instead ;)

  6. Perfect timing! I’ve been making rice wraps often lately, but have been looking for the perfect light sauce. Sharing this with my clients! :)

  7. I love spring rolls, especially during these hot summer months! All the photos here are making me hungry! Thank you for sharing with me…I’m glad I’m back in action in the blogging world. I’ve been missing your posts. I hope you have a wonderful end to your week!

  8. I LOVE having these when I go out. I will definitely have to try to make them at home sometime. Thanks!

  9. Ah! Perfect timing for you to post this recipe. I just bought rice paper to make these, and needed a reference recipe! :) I love that you used PB2 too!

  10. Gabrielle says:

    Just made those for supper! It was amazing!!! Made it with shrimps, cucumber, carrot, onions and red pepper! It was sooo good with the pb2 sauce!

  11. Ohhh you have no idea how obsessed I am with spring rolls! And I love adding Braggs to my peanut sauce too! I use it in place of the usual rice vinegar! It give the sauce such a good flavor!

  12. Oh my gosh, YUM! I wonder if I could just leave out the shrimp and maybe add a little extra tofu? That peanut sauce sounds good too! I love the idea of using PB2!

  13. These look so good and I keep seeing recipes using PB2, I’m wondering where you find it? Is it at regular grocery stores or do you have to go to a natural grocers?

  14. ohhh…love spring rolls..I remember you posting them a while ago and Jon and I scouring how to make them…they’ve become a northside favorite in our household :)

  15. OMG these are my fab and you have convinced me to try making my own! Perfect for lunches for next week!

  16. I had these last night at a restaurant and you’re right – they are full of rice noodles! I picked some out but these look SOO much better. Such a great idea using the PB2 as well – I will take any excuse I can get to use my PB2! Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. As a Vietnamese I have to say these look very impressive !

  18. Thank you so much for this! Especially the PB2 Peanut Sauce! Seriously amazing. I’ve had this for dinner three nights in a row and they taste EXACTLY like my local Thai Restaurant’s Rolls.

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