Crisp, crunchy, and full of flavor, these spring rolls are the perfect healthy appetizer for any occasion. With two variations, some with shrimp and some without, everyone is happy.
- 8 rice spring roll papers
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced (vegetarian option) *
- ½ lb. large shrimp, cooked and halved lengthwise (seafood option) **
- 3 cups shredded napa cabbage
- 2 large carrots, julienned
- 1 english cucumber, julienned
- 1 bunch green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces, then thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 bunch fresh Thai basil
- 1 package fresh mint
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup creamy almond butter (or peanut butter)
- 4 teaspoons ponzu sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1–2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1–1½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce (depending on spice preference)
- ½–1 teaspoon honey (depending on sweetness preference)
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh garlic
Fill a large bowl or 12-inch skillet with hot tap water. Working with 1 sheet of rice paper at a time, soften paper by soaking in hot water until pliable, 20–30 seconds. Gently lift paper from water and run fingers down its sides to remove excess water. Transfer paper to a smooth work surface or plate, lay flat and smooth out any creases or folds.
Sprinkle softened rice paper with sesame seeds then arrange a few slices of avocado or shrimp (depending on if you are making it vegetarian or not) in a line on the bottom third of the paper. Top with a layer of cabbage, carrots, cucumber, green onions, basil leaves, mint leaves, and cilantro leaves. Lift bottom edge of paper up and over filling, gently tuck towards you to secure, then fold in sides and continue to roll like a burrito. Transfer to a serving platter and repeat with remaining rice papers and filling. Cover spring rolls with a damp paper towel until ready to serve.
Spring rolls can be made up to one day in advance, although they are best fresh. To store spring rolls, cover with a damp paper towel, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
* Vegetarian Option
Instead of avocado you can also use thinly sliced extra-firm tofu, thinly sliced tempeh or shredded jackfruit.
** Seafood Options
Instead of the shrimp you can also use cooked crab meat, cooked lobster meat, cold-smoked salmon, or sushi-grade tuna.