April 09, 2013

Smoked Salmon & Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls with Soy Dipping Sauce

Smoked Salmon & Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls with Soy Dipping Sauce

While my wishing for the snow to stop seems to have worked because we haven't had snow the last few days, now we are getting rain - A LOT of rain! - much of Southern Ontario has been issued a special rain warning with flood watches for the week.  I guess the old saying "be careful what you wish for" has some truth to it - so now I'm wishing that the phrase "April showers bring May flowers" is also true, and that the May flowers part includes May veggies!  And to help wish Spring along, I made spring rolls - clever right?  :)

When it comes to spring rolls, I actually much prefer fresh rolls made with rice paper than the more common deep fried version, because the focus is on the fresh ingredients inside the roll, whose flavour isn't masked by a thick fried wrapper.  Plus fresh rolls are super easy to make - just lay some ingredients you like on a circle of rice paper and roll it up!  Rice paper wrappers get pretty sticky when they're wet so they'll stay together well as long as you wrap them up tightly.  The only down side is they have to be eaten pretty soon after making them so they don't harden, but with these smoked salmon and avocado rolls, you won't have any problem eating them all up right away!

Here are the ingredients I put in my fresh rolls: smoked salmon, avocado, carrots, cucumber, basil, lettuce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Ingredients for Smoked Salmon & Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls

Just soak your rice paper wrapper, lay it on a clean surface (I used a damp paper towel), place your ingredients in the bottom half, then roll it up!  Easy peasy!

Making Smoked Salmon & Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls

I loved how the creamy avocado and smoked salmon paired with the crunchy veggies in these fresh rolls, but the best part was the soy dipping sauce that infused the whole thing with even more flavour - it's an absolute must!

If smoked salmon isn't your thing, I also love these sweet & spicy kiwi mango fresh rolls with lime dipping sauce.  And if you have other fresh rolls flavour combos that you love, let me know - I have a ton of rice paper wrappers to use up now!

Smoked Salmon & Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls with Soy Dipping Sauce

Smoked Salmon & Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls with Soy Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Eating Well

Makes 6 fresh rolls


For the Fresh Rolls:
6 (9-inch) rice paper wrappers
6 pieces of lettuce
1 (100g or 3-4oz) package smoked salmon, in 6 slices
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned (you might not use the whole carrot)
Half a cucumber, julienned
1 ripe avocado, sliced (you might not use the whole avocado – I only used about half of one but that was being stingy)
1/4 cup sliced basil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

For the Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon sweet thai chili sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 green onion, chopped


Have all of your components for the spring rolls prepared before you start rolling them (i.e. slice your carrot, cucumber, avocado, basil, and salmon, and have the lettuce and sesame seeds ready to go).  

Soak one rice paper wrapper at a time in a shallow dish of hot water for about 10 seconds until it is soft and bendable.  Remove, let excess water drip off, and lay on a damp paper towel (the original recipe suggests a cutting board, which would work too, but I liked to keep the wrapper damp).  Lay lettuce on bottom third of wrapper, top with a piece of salmon, a few pieces of carrot, a couple pieces of cucumber, a slice or two of avocado, a bit of basil, and a sprinkle (about 1/2 teaspoon) of sesame seeds.  Fold the wrapper up over the filling and roll into a tight cylinder, folding in the sides as you go.  Remember that the wrapper will stick to itself, so make your folds where you want them, as it can be hard to undo!  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.  Cut each finished roll in half.

*Note: I also tried rolling one with the ingredients placed in the center before rolling and found that it worked that way too, but I preferred starting to roll from the bottom.

To prepare dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Serve rolls immediately with the dipping sauce, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours covered with a damp paper towel so they don’t harden (the original recipe suggests individually wrapping them in parchment or wax paper).

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