Cool salads are perfect summer fare, but they aren’t easy to eat on the go. That’s where fresh rolls come in. You can fill them with your favorite julienned vegetables and fruit. Add some fresh herbs and a flavorful sauce, and you’ve got a portable handheld salad.
I learned a couple tricks for these from my local Thai restaurant. First, try to find the rice paper wraps with the elephant on the front. I don’t know why, they just work better than the others. It’s worth a trip to an Asian market for those and the sambal (there’s more about sambal at the end of the recipe). The second bit of advice they gave me was to assemble them on a wet plate. That way the rice paper doesn’t stick and tear when you wrap it up.
Fresh Rolls with Spicy Mango Sauce
- 8 rice paper wraps (22 cm)
- 1 cup julienned jicama
- 1 cup julienned cucumber
- 3/4 cup julienned pineapple
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 8 large basil leaves
- 2/3 cup mango chunks
- sambal* (to taste)
For the sauce: Blend the mangos in a blender or food processor. Strain the puree to remove any fiber. Blend with sambal to taste. (I used 1 tablespoon manis pedas sambal).
For the rolls: Arrange the filling ingredients for easy assembly. Fill a bowl with warm water, large enough to soak the rice paper wrap without bending it. Find a plate slightly larger than the wraps and get it damp with water.
Begin by soaking a rice paper wrap in warm water for 8-10 seconds. You want it to just start to become soft. Place it on the plate. Place one basil leaf in the top third. Put about a 1/2-inch stack of jicama, 1/2-inch stack of cucumber, a 1/4-inch stack of pineapple and a slice or two of avocado on the bottom third of the rice paper. Fold the sides over the basil and filling. Wrap the bottom over the filling and roll up toward the basil.
Place each finished roll on a platter with space in between so they don’t touch. If you’re planning to eat them soon, refrigerate them on the platter for a few minutes to allow them to firm up. If you want to take them on the go, refrigerate for 10 minutes and then wrap each in plastic wrap.
*Sambal is a highly addictive Indonesian condiment. It resembles ketchup. You can find it at Asian markets. Look for ABC brand. There are different flavors, all with varying degrees of heat and sweetness. I recommend “manis pedas” (sweet-hot) if you can find it. Asli and tropical are both good, but I suggest caution if using extra pedas (extra hot). If you cannot find sambal, you could substitute sriracha or another thick hot sauce.