I'm getting a little weary of the same old boring, predictable spring roll. You too? Never fear! Allow me to introduce these Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls. A refreshing and unique take on the typical spring roll, but still tasty enough to satisfy even the most snobby of spring roll eaters (such as myself). Perhaps the greatest thing of all though, aside from how incredibly delicious these are, is how quick and easy they are to make too!
Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls
Inspired by Tales of a Kitchen
Makes 7 spring rolls
- -For the Pesto
- 2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves (half a large container, or two little containers)
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 small knob of ginger, peeled
- 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. liquid amino acids or soy sauce
- juice of 1 lime or a few squirts of bottled lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. honey or sweetener of choice
- -For the Rolls
- 7 rice paper sheets
- about 70 grams of uncooked rice vermicelli noodles or about 1/4 of the box
- 1/4 head of purple cabbage, thinly sliced into strips
- 3 green onions, sliced in half (optional)
- sesame seeds for sprinkling
First on the list, put a small pot of water on to boil.
While the water works it's way to a boil, wash and dry the basil then place in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients for the pesto. Now give them a good whirl about! Make sure to stop and scrape the bowl occasionally. This should only take a minute or two, or until it looks like...well...pesto. Hurray for pesto! So easy, right?
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If by now the water is boiling, remove from heat and add in the noodles. Let bathe for about 10 minutes, giving them a gentle stir occasionally. This is what my package of noodles recommended, however, others may differ so be sure to check the instructions. While the noodles are softening, slice up the cabbage and green onions.
When the noodles are done, drain them. Gathering the noodles and the veggies, congregate everything at your designated "rolling station" area. Gather a large plate with a rim or a pie dish and fill it with hot water. Not boiling mind you, your fingers have to be able to stand it! Bring that to your station as well.
I like to roll up my spring rolls on a plate, but you can do it on the table, counter, baking sheet, whatever. Dip one rice sheet in the hot water and let it sit, submerged for about 10 seconds or so. I place my fingers atop to drown it and also so I can feel when the sheet is ready. It shouldn't be too mushy or too stiff. Carefully lift it out of the water and place it on the rolling surface, ensuring there aren't any large folds.
Next, place 1/7 or about 1 Tbsp. of pesto in the middle of the sheet and smear it to make it even.
Add an even pile of cabbage, followed by a green onion strip and finally sprinkle with sesame seeds. Try to keep everything in order. A stray, crazy cabbage arm could poke a hole through the sheet, so keep those hooligans in line!
Fold the left and right side up first so they are almost touching in the middle, then fold the bottom portion up and over the two sides (like an envelope) and finally from the bottom, roll the entire spring roll towards the top! Now you have a spring roll! Do a little dance.
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Here's a picture demonstration from Keep Your Diet Real for those more visual learners...
These rolls are so good, no sauce is necessary. Yes, you read that right. If for some crazy reason you really, really need a sauce or just plain don't trust me, whip up some peanut butter, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and/or mirin and voila! There's so much flavor packed into these little buggers though, it would just be redundant.
Perhaps the tastiest spring roll I've ever had. Did I mention it's vegan, too!? I actually whipped up another batch in the morning for lunch! Can't let that basil go to waste...nom nom nom.