Wrap it Up Fresh Spring Rolls.
My zero waste spring roll recipe uses up: leftover protein, cooked chicken, cooked firm tofu, cooked shrimp, vegetables, rice paper wrappers, noodles, pasta.
If you have any leftover protein and a few vegetables kicking around, within minutes you can rice-paper-wrap yourself a meal. These easy-to-use, paper-thin, woven-looking rice paper wrappers make any food bundled inside quite charming. Healthy, kid-friendly, and gluten- and peanut-free, they are perfect solution for a guilt-free school lunch, quick weeknight dinner, or party tray. For a vegetarian option, just add more veggies, thin strips of your favorite firm tofu or tempeh, or even leftover scrambled or hard-boiled eggs.
For the cooked protein, try 10 oz thinly sliced chicken or turkey, or about 16 peeled cooked shrimp, some scrambled eggs, or slices of tofu or tempeh. For the vegetables, I like 1⁄2 bell pepper, 1⁄4 cucumber, 1 carrot and 1⁄2 mango, peeled (as needed) and thinly sliced.
Food 911: Rice paper wrappers can be found in the Asian food aisle of any grocer, but for more varieties of shapes, sizes, and brands, go to a Vietnamese or Chinese market. The best ones are those made with only rice or a combination of rice and tapioca starch.
Wrap It Up Fresh Spring Rolls
- 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp favorite hot sauce (optional) or chili oil
For the Filling
- 2 cups cooked rice vermicelli noodles or other leftover thin noodles as per package instructions
- Oil, for coating noodles (optional)
- 8 8 1⁄2-inch-diameter rice paper wrappers
- 2 cups cooked protein, cut to fit inside wrappers such as strips of chicken or tofu, cut shrimp, etc.
- 2 cups thinly sliced vegetables such as peppers, cucumber, even mango
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, cilantro or mint leaves
- For the Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients.
- For the Filling: Place the noodles in a large bowl. Drizzle a little oil or some of the dipping sauce over the cooked noodles and toss to prevent them from sticking together.
- Fill a medium sauté pan with 1 inch of water and heat on the stovetop until verywarm. You want it hot enough to soften the rice wrappers but not so hot you can’t put your fingers in it.
- Dampen a clean tea towel and place it on the counter. With your fingers, submerge a wrapper in the hot water and rotate until the wrapper softens, about 3 seconds.
- Gently lay the wrapper flat on the damp tea towel and start placing your fillings in a row across the center, leaving 2 inches along the top and bottom and 1 inch on each side. Try not to overstuff with noodles; be sure to leave room for more of the“good” stuff, like all the veggie strips. Add a few basil or cilantro leaves.
- Roll from the bottom up, tucking in the edges halfway through. The aim is to make a nice tight roll. Repeat with the remaining rolls.