People often ask me what my favorite food to eat is and my answer is pretty much always the same, Fresh Thai Rolls. You know those beautiful rice paper wrapped appetizers that you will find in most Thai restaurants? They are usually filled with tofu, carrots, rice noodles and/or lettuce and some kind of herb like basil, mint or cilantro. They are served with a peanut or plum dipping sauce. Sometimes, I will eat an entire order all by myself. Hands down my favorite food.
So when my husband and I were in Hudson, New York attending Plant-Stock one year, my mind was blown when we were dining at a local restaurant called Mexican Radio and I saw Mexican Spring Rolls on their menu. We ordered them and I vowed then and there to try and re-create this wonderful new spin on my favorite dish.
MEXICAN SPRING ROLLS
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup frozen corn (I chose frozen roasted corn)
¼ to ½ diced Hatch chili pepper with seeds removed (or jalapeno), amount to your spice liking
½ cup chopped cilantro
Brown Rice Paper Wraps
Salsa for dipping
Veggie broth (for sautéing)
Mexican Seasoning of choice (I like Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle)
Chili Powder, to taste
Garlic Powder, to taste
Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Add a thin layer of veggie broth then add the mushrooms, carrots, corn and chili pepper and stir to soften.
Continue to stir the veggies frequently to avoid sticking. Add more broth if they do start to stick. Sprinkle on the Mrs. Dash as well as the garlic and chili powder. No measurements needed, just sprinkle until the veggies are coated and the pan begins to smell amazing. Continue stirring until the carrots and mushrooms are soft and cooked.
Remove the pan from the stove and let sit to cool.
Now it is time to build your spring rolls. I start by using a pie pan and adding warm water to it. This is what you will dip your rice paper wraps in to soften them.
Dip your rice into the pie pan until completely coated and the rice paper just begins to soften. You don’t want it super soft, you want to have the paper still be somewhat firm. Usually I dip them 5 to 10 seconds total.
Place your wet rice paper wrap onto a plastic cutting board or surface. Do not use a wooden cutting board or your rice paper WILL stick!
Do not worry if the paper is not super soft yet, it will soften enough for you to roll it as it sits on the cutting board.
To the middle of the rice paper, add a small handful of spinach and a dollop of guacamole. I cheated and used the pre-packaged container of guac that I stick in my kid’s lunch box. Feel free to make your own if you prefer.
On top of the guacamole, add a small amount of the cooked veggie mixture. I would say about 2 tablespoons worth. You do not want to add too much because you do not want to rip the rice paper when you roll it. Then, top the veggies with a pinch or two of fresh chopped cilantro.
Next, take the bottom of the rice paper and fold up and over the veggie mixture in the middle. Then take the right side of your rice paper and fold over the veggie mixture followed by the left side. Tuck the flaps in and then roll the mixture up to the top portion of the rice paper until sealed.
Place your finished roll on a plate and move on to the next one being mindful to never let the finished rolls touch (again, they will stick and rip).
I served mine with salsa as a dipping sauce but I think you could find so many things to dip these in. Be creative! These are perfect to bring to a party too or have at your next taco night. Kids also have fun building these so make it a Mexican Spring Roll family night!