Now that the weather is warming up, I find myself craving lighter, fruitier, and more colorful meals. These rice paper rolls are the perfect spring and summertime dish—they’re super healthy, filled with vegetables and herbs, refreshing, satisfying, but light enough that you won’t feel heavy and tired afterwards. Oh, and the peanut butter dipping sauce is to die for. (Just try it and thank me later.)
These rolls are great as appetizers, snacks, or light meals (you can add noodles and protein to make them more filling). They keep well in the fridge, so I’ll usually roll up a large batch for dinner, and have leftovers for lunch the next day. I love the combination of ingredients in this recipe, but you can easily improvise with whatever you have in your fridge. They’re also amazing for summer gatherings and bbq’s—especially when you want to wow your friends and family, and balance out the beers and burgers that will be consumed.
I’ve lately been adding fruit slices like strawberries, kiwis and mangos in the roll—it might seem a bit unusual (my bf was skeptical at first), but it’s surprisingly delicious. The fruits add a sweet and refreshing flavor, and pair amazingly well with the raw, crunchy vegetables. For the colorful fruits and veggies to show through the top of the roll, follow the rolling technique in the recipe below. Let’s get rolling!
For The Roll
- Red bell peppers, julienned
- Carrots, julienned
- Yellow bell peppers, julienned
- Avocado slices
- Cilantro, basil, mint (the trifecta of herbs)
- Purple cabbage, julienned
- Vermicelli rice noodles, cooked (optional, makes the roll more filling and satisfying)
- Rice papers (I use these 22cm wrappers)
- Large bowl of warm water (to dip rice papers in)
For The Pretty Toppings
- Mango slices (amazing with avocado)
- Strawberry slices
- Kiwi slices (surprisingly delicious)
- Extra vegetables: bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, purple cabbage, avocado, cilantro, basil, mint, radish slices, cucumber slices, etc.
Note: Feel free to improvise the fillings based on what you have in your fridge and your taste. You can also add protein of your choice (baked tofu, tempeh, shrimp, etc.)
Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup or honey (I use 1 tbsp, depends on how sweet you want it)
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- 1 garlic, peeled and minced
- 2-3 tbsp warm water to thin (I prefer 3 tbsp, adjust as needed)
Make The Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce
- Mix peanut butter, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, sriracha sauce, and minced garlic in a bowl. Add 2-3 tbsp of water to thin. Whisk until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
Set Up Your Rolling Station
- Prep all the vegetables and fruit toppings that you’ll be rolling. Wash them thoroughly, peel and slice them, and place them into separate bowls so that they are ready to use while rolling. (In this recipe, the vegetables are consumed raw, so I recommend buying organic ingredients if possible.)
- Place a plastic or marble board in the center of your station to use as your rolling surface. (I used a wooden cutting board in this post so that the rice paper is more visible, but it’s so much easier to roll on plastic or marble, as the rice paper won’t stick to the surface.)
- Have a large bowl of warm water nearby to dip the rice paper into before rolling. This will make the rice paper soft and pliable. The bowl should be large enough for the rice paper to lay flat inside.
Make The Roll
- Dip rice paper with both hands into the bowl of warm water for 3-4 seconds. Carefully tap off excess water, and lay it flat onto your rolling surface.
- Layer soft ingredients first (i.e. basil, cilantro, mint, lettuce) to prevent harder ingredients from puncturing the roll. Place the fillings in the bottom 1/3 of the rice paper, leaving about a 1 1/2-inch border on the bottom and sides.
- Layer remaining harder vegetables on top (i.e. red peppers, carrots, yellow peppers, avocado, purple cabbage, etc.) You can place them in rainbow order to get a pretty effect. Make sure the veggies don’t stick out too much on either side, so they don’t tear the ends of the roll. Be careful not to overstuff the roll—you just need a bit of each ingredient to get the flavor.
- Layer a small amount of cooked vermicelli noodles on top (optional). If you’re not using noodles, try adding sprouts instead to help fill up the roll.
- To get the pretty fruits and vegetables to show through the top of the roll, place desired ingredients in a row towards the top of the rice paper (like the strawberries in the photo below).
- Start rolling by lifting the bottom edge of the rice paper and rolling it over the fillings. Fold in both sides of the rice paper. Then continue rolling all the way to the top (like you would a burrito). Make sure to roll it tight enough to keep the roll together, but not so tight that the rice paper will rip.
- Set finished roll aside to firm up, while you complete the rest of the rolls.
- Serve with peanut butter dipping sauce. You can slice the rolls in half, but I love serving them as whole rolls.
These rolls are best served fresh, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for a light lunch or snack the next day. If you’re prepping for guests, make these 1-2 hours before serving. (You can separate the rolls with saran wrap to prevent them from sticking together).
Hope this was helpful! Let me know if you make these rolls, or if you have any tips, ideas, or suggestions. Leave a comment below or #thehealthyhour on Instagram.
Photographs by Stephanie Park