rice paper spring rolls - refreshingly gluten free!

We've been eating a lot of cooked veggies these days - and I have been craving something fresh. Normally, I'd make spring rolls for a party or a pot luck as they appeal to lots of people and work with many dietary restrictions. Today I made them just for us, to be carted off for lunches on the road over the next few days. They are light, travel well, don't require warming up and keep for a few days tightly wrapped in the fridge. They are easy, but do require a good deal of assembly. Put on some good tunes, get well organized, and it's actually a pretty enjoyable way to spend an hour.

What you need: rice paper wraps (approx 10" diameter).
Salted hot water in a large bowl for soaking. As for the rest of the ingredients, they can be few or they can be many. 

Used in the wraps pictured are lettuce leaves (Boston is my preference - but anything "soft" vs crunchy will do), grated carrot, thinly sliced red and yellow pepper, green onion and LOTS of fresh cilantro (coriander)

Other ideas/variations I've tried include grilled tofu, salted peanuts, basil leaves and or mint leaves  and many Thai recipes include cooked shrimp or chicken.
Prepare your ingredients and put on a plate so that you can easily access everything like an assembly line. Lay a clean dry tea towel on your counter. 

1) Place enough boiled salted water in a bowl big enough to soak the rice paper disks. Place a disk in the water and wait until it softens (seconds). Pull out and gently lay flat on the tea towel. 
2) Put ingredients in middle, being careful not to over stuff. I put the lettuce on the bottom because I find that it helps support the delicate rice paper and keeps sharper items from poking out. 
3) To roll, simple fold up the bottom quarter of the disk. Then fold in the left side corner towards the centre. Tuck in the ingredients tightly (but gently as the paper may rip). Fold the top quarter down. Finish rolling towards the right side. Place seam side down on a platter. Don't be disheartened if your first couple are a bit wonky. I find that it takes me about two before I get the hang of it and make them tight enough. 

Once you are done, place a clean damp cloth, or wet paper towel over the top to keep them moist (not wet). Wrap in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. When ready to serve, slice them in half. They can be eaten plain, or served with a dipping sauce. I tend to whip something up based on what's in the fridge... you can also purchase ready made plum sauce in the Asian food aisle of your grocery store that is gluten free. Watch for store bought sauces that contain soy sauce as that is very often NOT gf.

Today I combined some gluten-free tamari sauce with some rice vinegar, grated ginger, a spoon of sugar, sprinkle of salt and a good dose of hot pepper sauce.  Another classic is to combine peanut butter, gluten-free soy sauce, lime and water, melting it on the stove to form a dip. I hate shopping for ingredients just for one little dish. I would experiment with what you have on hand.  Essentially you want something sweet/sour/savoury with a hit of spice. When I'm eating these rolls for lunches I just eat them plain - they are like a garden of goodness and they leave me feeling very virtuous... which is justification for a treat later!


  1. Oh I love these, they sure make a great lunch indeed!

  2. You have done great job making this nice spring rolls. I like them in combo with salted peanuts too. But i also like to experiment with different variations same as you. Did you really spent only one hour?