Stuffed with cellophane noodles, shrimp, carrots, and cucumbers, these healthy spring rolls are a nice appetizer or light meal.
Although it is clearly not spring, yesterday, I made spring rolls. Wishful thinking?
I started thinking of spring rolls last weekend when I happened to catch a Pioneer Woman episode about new recipes to make from Thanksgiving leftovers. Those spring rolls were stuffed with turkey and obviously not the more traditional version here, but I started with the basics.
After the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to eat something lighter and less decadent than the warm, heavy, bready, cheesy, rich meals that so often please me when it is dark and chilly outside.
I had never made cellophane noodles or worked with rice papers before making these healthy spring rolls, but as you can tell, everything worked out just fine.
Mind you, I did have to unfurl sticky rice papers that wanted to bunch and stuff rouge filling back into place, but even Ree said she was not going to win any perfection awards with her rolls.
I liked that. No perfection awards. I tend to like things just so, but sometimes good enough is as good as it gets. And these are pretty good. Enjoy!
Healthy Spring Rolls
Yield 4 spring rolls
1 small package of cellophane noodles
4 sheets of rice paper
a few sprigs of cilantro
12-16 shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
1 large carrot, julienned
1 small cucumber, julienned
salt and pepper
optional: cocktail, soy, or other sauces for dipping
- Prepare the cellophane noodles according to the package directions. Typically, all this requires is placing the amount of noodles you wish to make in a bowl, pouring boiling water over the noodles, and allowing them to sit for about 15 minutes before draining.
- After the noodles soften, place warm water in a shallow dish large enough to hold the sheets of rice paper. A pie pan works well for this step.
- Dip one sheet of rice paper into the water for about 15 seconds until it has softened.
- Remove the sheet from the water and place it on a work surface.
- Place a single line of cilantro leaves on the rice paper.
- Next, layer a small handful of cellophane noodles, three to four shrimp, carrots, and cucumbers on the rice paper and season with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Fold the top and bottom edge of the rice paper over the filling, then take either the right or left edge and roll it over the folded ends and filling. You should have a sort of envelope at this point.
- To finish, simply roll the ingredients over the remaining rice paper or pull the free edge over the ingredients to seal the roll.
- Serve with cocktail sauce or soy sauce as desired.
The cellophane noodles I buy come bundled in three small packages to one large package. One small package of noodles is more than enough for four spring rolls.
Try not to overfill the rolls as this makes it hard to wrap the rice paper around the filling.
Depending on the size of your noodles and vegetables, you may have enough filling to make more than four rolls.