One of the things I love about traveling, is not having to cook for a few days. While visiting friends in California, I discovered a really cool Vietnamese restaurant just short walk from the hotel where I was staying. When I walked into the place, I had to order my food at the counter, pay, take a number so they can locate me, and of course find a table to sit at. The place was super busy!! The first night, I ordered a bowl of vegetarian pho and it was perfect. There were more veggies in the bowl than rice noodles and the broth was just perfectly seasoned. I also order a side of vegetarian avocado spring rolls. The fresh kind, wrapped in rice paper. They’re some of the best spring rolls I’ve ever had!
Avocado Rolls at Simply Vietnam Express in Santa Rosa, California
These fresh rolls had lots of thinly sliced avocado, grated jicama, carrots, cucumbers and lettuce in them. They were tightly wrapped and tasted yummy dipped into the Thai sweet chili sauce. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this combination of veggies in spring rolls in any other restaurant before. As I was enjoying every last morsel on my plate, I knew that I would definitely make them once I got home!
Last night I finally did!
Avocado Rolls at Incahootswithmuddyboots in Portland, Oregon
This is a really easy dinner or lunch on a hot day. It’s also fast because it doesn’t take much time to grate a few vegetables and then roll them up in the softened spring roll wrapper. I sautéed some peppered tofu for a side dish.
If you want to make your own Thai sweet chili sauce check out my recipe here. It’s delicious and beats most of the store-bought stuff because it’s not too sweet and sticky.
Here’s how I made the Avocado Spring Rolls:
Most grocery stores carry these spring roll wrappers made out of rice flour, water and salt. They are inexpensive and most brands look pretty much the same. I do prefer products without added preservatives and other artificial ingredients.
The rice paper is stiff and has a waffle weave texture. When dipped into water, it becomes translucent and pliable. Once wet, it’s kind of delicate. It does tear and gets sticky when soaked too long. Practice is the only way to get the hang of it!
Grate some carrots, jicama and cucumber. Squeeze the cucumber dry.
Wash and dry your choice of fresh greens like lettuce, spinach or arugula.
Peel and thinly slice an avocado or two.
Set up your workstation so everything’s within easy reach.
Fill a deep plate large enough to hold one of the rice paper rounds with warm water.
Dip one rice paper disc into the warm water for about 10 to 15 seconds or until soft. Lay it out on your work surface.
Put a row of avocado slices down the center of the wrapper, leaving space around the sides to roll the whole thing up burrito-style.
Next, layer the lettuce, carrots, jicama and cucumbers.
Carefully roll it up from the top, then fold in the sides and finally roll it closed.
Put the finished rolls on a serving plate and cover them with a moist towel while you make the rest of them.
When the rice paper tears, I just use a second one to hold the spring roll together.
These fresh rolls don’t keep well and are best if eaten shortly after they’re made.
The rice paper might be a little tricky at first, but with practice it gets easier.
I hope you give these a try!
I absolutely love them!
And I think that you will, too!