These freshy rolls are full of fresh herbs and avocado, so light and flavorful, they make the kind of meal that won’t put you in a food coma afterwards. These portable little morsels are easier to assemble than I would have thought and the best thing is how surprisingly indestructible they are. They do well at room temp for hours (like if you are bringing them to a picnic or dinner party.) And they also last in the fridge for several days. Basically as long as your chopped veggies can stay fresh, the spring roll wrappers can keep up.
For those of you who have never used these spring roll wrappers before, I found them in the Asian food section at the grocery store, and they are also available on Amazon. They were only about $2.50 for a package with dozens of wrappers. They are not the same thing as wonton wrappers, which are like an uncooked dough. They come hard and flat like a big dry sheet of thin pasta. You don’t have to refrigerate them and they need no prep work. All it takes is a one second dip in warm water and they are ready to go. The ones I used were made from rice, and they also come in brown rice and wheat forms.
It was my mother’s birthday on Saturday, and I made a big Thai dinner for my family. These Freshy Rolls were the first course. I even served them at Super Bowl sunday the next day, and they were still great even after sitting on the buffet line for 4 hours.
You can serve them with any dipping sauce you want, but I think they were made for Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce. And certainly don’t serve them without any sauce, it’s the best part! One of the things that makes these rolls so durable is the balance of moisture. The vegetables are just naturally moist enough to keep the wrappers from reverting back to their dried pasta-like state, but if you incorporate the sauce into the rolls, they will likely get mushy and fall apart, hence the dipping.
Thai Freshy Rolls
Servings vary depending on how much you stuff into each roll, about 5 servings
1/2 cucumber (or about 4.5″ length)
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
5 leaves butter lettuce, washed and dried
5 spring roll rice wrappers, 8.5″ diameter
3 large dinner plates
Getting your roll making station all set up is key here. So first prepare the vegetables. When slicing your vegetables, the idea is to have pieces that are tiny and delicate matchsticks that span the length of the Freshy Roll, so that when you slice it, it looks pretty and neat (think sushi.)
Cut the avocado in half, scoop out each entire half with a spoon, then slice it into long thin pieces, roughly 1/2″ W x 1/2″ W.
Next peel the cucumber and slice it the same way, so that you have long sticks, about 1/8″ W x 1/8″ W.
If you want, you can buy a whole carrot and cut it just like the cucumber, it will look much prettier, but they really need to be 1/16″W x 1/16″W matchsticks, so if you aren’t a ninja and do not have OCD, I’d just go with the pre shredded bag of carrots.
Finely chop the basil and mint and combine them in a small bowl.
Wash and separate the leaves of the butter lettuce. Rip the leaves in half, removing the tough central stems.
Now you will need 1 large dinner plate with a little depth to it. Fill it with warm water. Also have ready a 2nd plate or cutting board to do the wrapping upon, and a 3rd plate to put the finished rolls.
Get ready to wrap and roll:
Take your first sheet of spring roll wrapper and dip it into the plate of warm water, fully submerging it, for only 1 to 2 seconds. Lift it out, give it a little shake, and lay it down on your second plate.
You will probably think, ‘hey, this thing is still rock hard, I won’t be able to roll this up!” But in the time it takes you to pile up the veggies, it will have softened perfectly.
Start with the lettuce and arrange it at the bottom half of the wrapper, closest to you. It should take up roughly the bottom half of the spring roll. Make sure that will all your filling ingredients, you leave 1″ to 2″ of uncovered wrapper on the left and the right, so that you can fold in these edges like a burrito. You may have to rip your leaves and layer them to make them fit this space.
Next put a few slices of avocado, a few strips of cucumber, a few strips of carrot, and pinch of the herbs on top of the lettuce. You want the overall diameter of your rolls to be about 2.5″ and about 4″ long, so divvy up your veggies accordingly. (look at the photo for reference.)
Now starting at the bottom, roll the wrapper up over the vegetables, tucking it and trying to pack it nice and tightly. Once you get 1 full rotation, fold the left and right edges in (again, like a burrito.) The you will probably roll it a little more, fold the edges in a little more, and roll again to seal it up.
If at any point the wrapper feels hard and not pliable enough, just dip your fingers in the water and rub the wrapper a little.
If you aren’t going to serve them right away, just put them in an airtight container or plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you are going to serve, wait about 15 minutes for the wrapper to congeal on itself, then slice them in half.
Now for the sauce!
Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
makes about 1/2 cup
1 tb raw almond butter (you can use peanut butter, but this actually tastes just as good! I promise.)
1 tb raw agave nectar
1 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs chili garlic sauce (this is in the asian food section, the brand is Huy Fong, the same company that makes Sriracha.)
2 tbs full fat coconut milk (optional)
1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar or lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined. Lasts in the fridge at least one week!
Now every time I make this, I combine everything, taste it, then keep adjusting depending on what it needs. Everyone has a different preference for peanut sauce; whether it’s sweeter, spicier, creamier, this is a good base to adjust to your preferences. I hope you will like it just the way it is, but if not, you really can’t ‘ruin’ it, just keep adjusting. 🙂