Ladies and gentlemen, I have to confess. I cannot get enough of these.
Call them salad rolls, spring rolls, fresh rolls, whatever. But they are gooooood.
And a much needed change from the fried food and potato chip addiction I have had as of late.
Here's what I put in mine this time. You always need the rice papers and some sort of noodles, but the rest can change every time. Sometimes I use rice sticks noodles and sometimes I use bean threads. No one in my house seems to have a preference. This time I put in mung bean sprouts, bell pepper, carrot, cucumber and plenty of fresh cilantro.
Just slice your veggies into thin matchsticks, prepare the noodles according to package directions, and you're good to go.
This is what the rice paper looks like right out of the package. My small town has a local grocery store with a great selection of Asian foods--shout out to Shop'N'Kart, if you're local!-- but I have also seen them at Fred Meyer and sometimes Safeway.
You can see that it is pretty thin and brittle.
Just soak them in a pie plate with about a half inch of hot water for a few seconds and they soften right up.
I have found that the time it takes me to roll up my first roll is the perfect amount of time to have the next rice paper soaking.
They're hard to hold flat with one hand while taking a picture with the other hand. It will stick to itself, so try not to let that happen. I think I was able to save this one before it got too crumpled up.
Just flatten it out the best you can on a plate.
Then top with whatever you're putting on yours. If you look really closely you can see that some green onion snuck in after I had taken the photos of the ingredients up above. Good stuff. I always pile the noddles on first, then the sprouts, followed by whatever else you have. Don't forget the cilantro!
Now you fold over the two ends that are perpendicular to the fillings, and stick it down to the flaps that are still open. That will help you get a nice, tight roll.
Then just roll it up burrito style.
And of course dip it in plenty of peanut sauce. That's the best part. There are tons of recipes out there on the interwebs for this stuff, but I'm much too lazy for that these days. This one is my current favorite. A little spicy, and I'm pretty sure it'd be awesome with an ice cold beer... I'll keep you posted on that in about 3-4 months. ;)