Vietnamese Summer Rolls

This is one of my favorite almost-raw recipes. Everything, except the rice paper wrappers and the Nama Shoyu, is raw. The rolls are tasty, easy to make, and perfect as an appetizer for a summer party. 
Those of you who do not wish to use the rice paper wrappers can use collard greens or lettuce.

Ingredients:

for the filling
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned 
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
  • 1/4 small purple cabbage, julienned
  • 1 medium large cucumber, julienned
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (use Thai basil if you can)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • romaine or iceberg lettuce, optional
 for the dipping sauce
  • 8 Tbsp raw almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp cold pressed sesame seed oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger root
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • freshly pressed juice of 2 limes
  • 1-2 hot bird peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp Nama Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce) or Liquid Aminos
20 small rice paper wrappers (my ones were 16 cm or about 6.3″ in diameter)
shallow bowl with hot water
  • In a medium large bowl mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a little cold water or chilled coconut water, and mix well. The sauce should be slightly flowing and not too thick. I used raw honey, but you can use any liquid sweetener you like. If you do not have, or do not want to use Nama Shoyu, add a pinch of Celtic sea salt to taste.
  • Boil a pot of water. Pour some hot water into a shallow bowl. Remove the rice paper wrappers from the packaging. Take the first one and submerge it in a bowl with water. The wrapper should become soft after about 2-5 seconds. (Follow the instructions on the package.) Put the soft wrapper on a smooth surface and start filling it up with julienned vegetables, fresh herbs and thinly sliced green onions. Wrap the bottom part of the rice paper wrapper over the veggies and hold in place. Fold the sides and keep rolling till the roll is closed at the upper end. Set the roll aside and continue with the next wrapper. The water in the bowl cools off quickly so keep your kettle ready. Another pair of hands in the kitchen would be helpful, but I am certain that you will be able to manage all by yourself.
  • Serve the rolls on a chilled platter and don’t forget the dip. Enjoy in good company! 

Tip: You may place the rolls in the fridge for a few minutes before serving, but if you refrigerate them for too long, they will become rubbery. I used very small wrappers. If you are making the rolls for the first time, you may want to buy bigger ones. You will have less trouble rolling them up. Also, serve the dipping sauce in small, individual bowls – one per guest. Normally, there is no need for cutlery since these delicious rolls make a perfect finger food, but how you serve them is really up to you.
I tried to keep this recipe as raw and as authentic as possible. I hope that  it inspired you to your own unique creations. You can fill the rolls with anything you like. Add wedges of not too ripe avocado, some bean sprouts, micro greens, leeks, beets, edible flowers, or snow peas. Experiment! It’s such a fun.
In radiant health – passionately raw – Dominique

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