I know that it may sound non-BBQ-ish, but these spring rolls are what I ate on the 4th of July. At least the eggplant is grilled, right? 😉 Before this, I had never made spring rolls, on my own. Earlier this year, I bought a large pack of rice paper with the intention of trying it out, but it took about 2 months of staring it down (totally intimidated) to even take it out of the cupboard.
It wasn’t until I had dinner with my good friend Annie at Au Lac, that I was inspired to make it happen. She ordered this crazy assemble-your-own spring roll plate, complete with hot water/rice paper holder dish (clearly a technical term), and I saw just how simple they are to make. It turns out, that Annie makes them at home all of the time! She suggested adding coconut milk to the warm water in which you dip the rice paper; which got me super excited.
Fast forward to last Thursday, when I searched my fridge for some veggies to create a super tasty set of rolls for myself. I knew I wanted something savory and smoky to go with my fresh herbs and crunchy carrots; maybe a little heat, too. Marinated and grilled eggplant ended up being the perfect solution! I love eggplant, but I buy and use it MAYBE every 6 months. Pathetic, really.
So, if you were ever a little worried about making spring rolls being something that is labor intensive and kind of hard, fear no longer! Give these a try for a light lunch or as an appetizer for a couple of friends. I can’t wait to experiment some more with this!
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- 1 C. Eggplant, Cut into ½"x1/2"x2" sticks
- ¼ C. Water
- 2 T. Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
- ½ T. Liquid Smoke
- ½ T. Maple Syrup
- ½ C. Water
- ¼ C. Light Coconut Milk
- 4 Sheets of Rice Paper
- 1 C. Carrot, Julienne Cut
- 1 C. Zucchini, Julienne Cut
- 1 Fresh Jalapeño, Julienne Cut w/o Seeds
- ½ an Avocado, thinly sliced
- Handful of Fresh Mint
- Handful of Fresh Cilantro
- 2 T. Light Coconut Milk
- 2 tsp. Sriracha
- ½ T. Liquid Aminos
- 1 tsp. Lime Juice
- 1 tsp. Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp. Sweet Chili Sauce
- Place the eggplant sticks into a shallow dish. In a small bowl, stir the 1/water, liquid aminos, liquid smoke and maple syrup together; then pour over the eggplant and marinade for 1-2 hours.
- Heat up your grill and prep the veggies during the last 15 minutes of marinating time.
- Grill the eggplant on all 4 sides until each one has brown grill marks, and pour the rest of the marinade over the pieces as they grill.
- Warm the ½ C. of water with the light coconut milk in a medium sauce pan until it is just hotter than luke warm, and turn off the heat.
- Dip one sheet of rice paper in the water/coconut milk on each side for 2-3 seconds, then transfer to a small plate.
- Place 2-3 pieces of eggplant in the middle of the paper, along with carrot, zucchini, jalapeno and avocado pieces. Add a couple leaves of mint and cilantro to the middle and fold the rice paper like a burrito.
- This means: fold in one side parallel to the filling, then the two side panels over it, next hold it firmly and wrap the rest of it up and press down on the seam.
- Repeat 3 more times and place in the refrigerator.
- Whisk all of the ingredients together until completely smooth, you may need to warm up the peanut butter before doing this. Serve!
These rolls would also go great with a sweet & sour-type sauce, or anything else that you prefer. If you want to get a little fancier plating going, slice the rolls into 3 parts and place them cut-side up on a long plate; garnish with mint.
Have a great week, everyone!