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.