Easy Brown Rice Summer Rolls with Almond Sesame Dressing
August 5, 2013

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Well, well, well. This was quite the weekend of tech drama. A few of you may have noticed that my blog was down for most of Friday, stuck on an outdated post for most of Saturday, and spotty yesterday. I’ve recently switched servers because my blog wasn’t loading for a lot of my readers (sorry, readers!), but there have been some glitches with the process. A very brilliant and patient friend has been helping me to get things up and running again, but I truly apologize for the down time. Big thanks to everyone who has been keeping me posted and alerting me of glitches and connection issues through comments, on Twitter, and on Facebook. I appreciate it!

So, we’re back to business–or at least my fingers are crossed that we are. In a recent vegan lunch column for Food52, I showcased a recent lunchtime favorite: brown rice summer rolls. I served these fresh, crispy rolls up with an almond ginger dipping sauce and a fresh salad, and they were a total delight.

I love to order summer rolls in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, but for whatever reason, I very rarely make them at home. This is silly, since it takes very little time to master the art of wrapping them, and they’re incredibly versatile and fun. My recent summer roll adventure was inspired by this product find:

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Brown rice spring roll wrappers from Star Anise Foods. I found these at my local Whole Foods. They’re also available on Amazon (though apparently out of stock right now). Of course, regular rice paper wrappers will be totally fine, and can be found online or in ethnic markets.

To work with rice paper wrappers, you simply give them a quick dip in warm water, then lay them on a clean, dry surface.

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You fill them with whatever fillings you like, tuck the top and bottom in, and then roll them right now (not unlike my process for collard wraps). Easy as can be! You can fill your rolls with whatever you like. I love a mixture of avocado and veggies, or shredded cabbage and carrot tossed with some of my outstanding miso sesame dressing. On this occasion, I used what I had: sprouted tofu, carrot matchsticks, cucumber matchsticks, and fresh basil from my basil plant! The basil gave it all a bright, summery flavor.

Summer rolls are infinitely more fun when you have a fun dipping sauce to serve them with. On this occasion, I whipped up a quick almond and sesame dressing. Here’s the recipe:

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Almond Butter and Sesame Dressing

Author - Gena Hamshaw

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider or brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together (you can use a food processor or blender for this).
  • Makes a scant half cup.

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So easy, so fun. Summer rolls are equally great as appetizers and as meal components. I’m now inspired to try more recipes…which will be easy, since I’ve about twelve rice paper wrappers left!

And right now, I’m so thrilled that I was actually able to successfully publish a blog post that I’m going to go tap my heels. Or something. I’ve got lots of tasty recipes in store for the week, so I hope to see you soon.

xo

 

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    43 Comments
  1. Hi Gena,
    In order to serve these wraps at 8 pm, how early in the day can I prepare them? For a gathering of around 15 people, I have too many things going on during the day and wanted to make them around noon and store. Won’t they chewy, even if wrapped in cling film?

    Thanks,
    Gaury

  2. I need to get the grocery guys at my Whole Foods to order these! I love spring rolls but was always a little bummed it’s made of white rice.

    • Scratch that. We have the Brown Rice Wraps at Whole Foods Tenely…they just weren’t stocked yet when I looked this morning! 🙂

  3. I didn’t realize you could buy brown rice wrappers. I shall have to keep a lookout when I next visit the supermarket or try Amazon.

    By the way your photos make the rolls look delicious and I love your almond butter and sesame dressing recipe.

  4. is it funny that I’m eating fresh rolls from my favorite thai place as I read this? They are my favorite food–I will have to look for the brown rice wrappers when I’m in New York. The place I order from, pickles their carrots before adding them to the rolls and it makes such a difference in the taste. Now all I have to do is figure out what they use to pickle them with–they wouldn’t share that secret with me!

  5. Ohh these look fabulous 🙂
    Must make! But seeing as I’m a non-cook can I ask… Do I cook the tofu (if so how?)
    How do I roll the rice paper things?
    And how thin should I slice the cucumbers and carrots (both which will come from my/my neighbors garden)

    • You definitely don’t have to cook the tofu if you don’t want — it’s already cooked. If you’d like to marinate it in some ginger and tamari, then bake it, that’s even better!

  6. Thank you Gena for the wonderful recipe!
    I work with Star Anise Foods and wanted to let you know that the wrappers should be back in stock at Amazon, but can also be purchased directly from our website at http://www.staranisefoods.com.
    The majority of Whole Food Market store should have us on the shelves and if they don’t, please ask their buyers. We are also present at select natural grocery stores throughout the country.
    We are the only company that makes brown rice wrapper and proud of it!
    Thank you Gena for the beautiful display and to all your followers who have contacted me about our products.

    Sincerely,
    Elena

    • Thanks so much for reaching out, Elena! I’m delighted to hear from you, and will update my readers with that information. I love what you guys are doing — thank you for your products!

    • Sadly, the Whole Foods stores near me did not carry this product. Luckily though, Star Anise was terrifically responsive to my plight and partnered with me to persuade my nearby store to order the wraps. So, folks – if you find yourself in the same situation, I encourage you to elicit assistance from Star Anise directly. I was very impressed by both their customer service and their business practices.

  7. These look so pretty Gena! I saw this brand of rice wraps at the store, but was a little intimidated. I did recently try making some spring rolls and succeeded! I should try the brown rice ones out.

  8. I’ve just found some brown rice rolls from my local supermarket (never knew they did them), so definitely going to give these a try 🙂

  9. I had no idea there were brown rice wrappers available! I’ll have to check them out. I had some rolls at my favorite vegan Thai place this weekend, and wondered why I don’t make them at home more often. I really like to put a lot of fresh herbs in mine, especially basil and cilantro. Thanks for posting this 🙂

  10. Gena – I just want to thank you for your recipes – You are my “taste-bud doppleganger” and so good at combining just the right flavors and ingredients. Your recipes make it really easy to be excited about eating raw and clean. Can’t wait to try these summer rolls! Thanks again, Lisa

    • I am delighted to be your doppleganger of any sort, especially if tastebuds are involved. Thanks for commenting, Lisa!

  11. Fun! I’m definitely going to look for these wraps at Whole Foods today!

    Glad to see you’re up and running…the blog is loading super quickly for the first time in months. Yay:)

    • I really appreciate your keeping me in the loop about the issues! My fingers are crossed that it’ll be smooth sailing now.

  12. Oh, I absolutely ADORE those brown rice spring roll wrappers. My DC apartment has been spring roll headquarters since I found them at Whole Foods. Glad to see you’re sharing in the deliciousness!

  13. That’s funny, I have a package of these sitting around. I’ve had them for six months, but I too often order them when out. What’s the big hangup? I’ll have to do it! Almond butter makes everything more decadent too.

  14. I just posted my recipe for summer rolls yesterday! I used shredded veggies, mango, avocado and sprouts in mine 🙂 I love that you can get brown rice paper wrappers!

  15. Wow, very unique ingredients. I don’t think I’ve heard of rice paper wrappers before. Hmm, something I will want to try out

  16. Those look amazingly delicious! It’s soo healthy and it somewhat reminds me of asian lettuce wraps. Both of these foods are healthy too.

  17. I just discovered those same brown rice wrappers a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been making summer rolls like a mad woman ever since. I’ll have to try your dipping sauce recipe with my next batch. I love using a peanut sauce sauce with these, but almond sounds wonderful for a change.

  18. I had no idea that brown rice wrappers even existed! These look delicious, so I’m definitely keeping an eye out for them on my next trip to WF.

  19. I’m having a simultaneously embarrassing and exciting moment in which I just realized that I always make spring rolls with finely shredded stuff instead of baton stuff, and how much easier to eat (and serve, especially) the latter would make them. Plus, those are beautiful with the distinct ingredients showing.

  20. i’ve never seen brown rice wrappers?! i do enjoy a rice paper or soy wrapper esp in the summer. oh my drama with your blog! it wasn’t loading for me at all, i thought it was deleted! but then i thought nah, gena would never just quit one day without saying something first lol