These beauties are like burritos, but so much better for you.
Not feeling a salad today? Even wellness chef Charles Chen can sympathize. When he wants to get a nice portion of fresh veggies but isn’t in the mood for a salad, he whips up these classic veggie summer rolls.
Chen is a chef, entrepreneur, and vivacious host of the online cooking show Kitchen Hustle, where “hustlers learn how to fuel their passions.” Throughout his childhood, Chen struggled with his health. As a teenager, he was prediabetic and a self-proclaimed couch potato who had no energy or motivation to make healthier choices. After hitting what he calls his “rock bottom moment,” he reclaimed his health, lost more than 100 pounds, and now helps others fuel their “bodies, mind, and spirit starting in the kitchen.”
A summer roll (not to be confused with the crunchy, deep-fried spring roll) is a fresh roll rolled in transparent rice paper and filled with julienned veggies (here’s how to julienne carrots, cucumber, and other vegetables), herbs, and often some type of protein. Chen uses tofu in this recipe, but you can also use pre-cooked and chilled shrimp or chicken.
In fact, you can put just about anything in a summer roll. Not a fan of bell peppers or cucumbers? Try red cabbage, slivered beets, asparagus, or sliced radishes. Anti cilantro? Try basil or mint. Picky about vegetables? Get fruity instead with sliced mango or papaya. Not a fan of scallions? Add flavor with fresh ginger or with a fun sauce, like a Thai peanut sauce or Chen’s basil cream sauce.
And yes, avocado fans. You can definitely throw in some avocado.
- 5 rice paper wrappers (22 cm papers)
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 (14 oz) package of tofu
- 1/2 a red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 a long English cucumber, julienned
- 1 cup of baby spinach, chiffonaded
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- reduced-sodium soy sauce, for serving
InstructionsSoak a single rice paper in the hot water until it's completely soft and flexible. This could take anywhere from a few seconds to more than 30 seconds depending on the brand/type of rice paper. I have best results soaking them for about 30 seconds. Gently shake the excess water from the rice paper, lay it straight out onto your work space. Let it sit for about 30 seconds to absorb any excess water, The papers won't stick together properly if they're really wet. Sprinkle some sesame seeds in the center of the wrap. Lay the julienned vegetables down in the middle of the wrap. Use approximately ‚Öï of each ingredients per wrap (use a little more or a little less depending on how many wraps you want to make and how big you'd like them to be.) I like to fill mine with a little bit of spinach, lots of cucumber and carrot, a little red pepper, and lots of tofu topped with a sprinkle of green onion. Try to keep the fillings laid neatly, making sure to leave ample room on each side to easily fold the wrap.
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.