I have been wanting to make these summer rolls ever since I came back from Bali, which is now nearly 9 months ago! Which is also more than enough time to start missing sunshine, beaches and island life and these fresh healthy coconutty rolls brought a moment of true summer bliss.
There isn’t much cooking here I have to admit, but I find slicing colourful fruits and veggies rather pleasing for the eye, while handling rice paper oddly brings me a lot of amusement! My rolls here include a variety of veggies, mango and coconut rice, but you can add pretty much anything – tofu, tempe, cheese, chicken, prawns , you name it!
For about 8-9 of my tropical rolls you will need:
Rice paper sheets
Cup of white rice
3 tbsp. desiccated coconut
1 Carrot (mine was purple here – so pretty!)
1 Red pepper
1 Yellow pepper
Fresh spinach – pick the bigger leaves
Boil the rice in water together with the coconut. In the meantime start slicing the veggies into thin stick-like slices. Stir fry for just few minutes the bean sprouts. Once the rice is ready chuck in some chopped coriander leaves to add some fragrance.
Have all of the ingredients ready next to you and the get ready for rollin’. Fill a large bowl or deep plate with some boiling water. Take your first rice paper sheet, place it in the water for 10-ish seconds until soft. Remove from the water and spread it on a clean kitchen towel just to dry out a bit. Make sure the water is always hot, as cold water doesn’t do much for the rice paper.
First sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Then add a bigger spinach leaf and a spoon or two of the coconut rice. The spinach is optional here, you can easily remove it or replace with a lettuce leaf. Then arrange nicely the rest of the veggies and fruit slices on top. Put as little or as much as you want. Then gently fold the sides and the back of the paper and then roll to close, gently stretching the front flap to ensure your roll is nice and tight.
Proceed until you are out of veggie supplies (or out of patience).
I also made a very quick dressing as really in its rawest form these rolls could do with a bit of a spice compliment. I mixed up some lime juice, tiny splash of light soy sauce, drops of sesame oil, some chili flakes, sesame seeds, ginger and just a drop of honey. To make it a complete replica of island dish, I would perhaps add a cold coconut water as a drink, just because you can never have too much of coconut!
Along with being super pretty, these rolls are really fresh and delicious – a perfect snack or starter just to make us crave sunny summer days even more! Enjoy!