I have a confession: I am completely inept at crafting.
I mean it. I’m THE WORST crafter ever.
Remember when the whole scrapbooking thing was a thing in the late 90s and early 2000s? Yeah, I made a page at a party once and it looked like a kindergartner went bananas with zig-zag scissors, word bubble stickers, and double-sided tape.
I still have that scrapbook page in a box somewhere. I keep it to remind myself that I’m total crap at crafting, that I should to never ever go to Michael’s without a plan, and that I just can't fight reality — crafts just aren’t my thing. I will stick to cooking and cocktails, thankyouverymuch.
Occasionally, I get confused about the line between cooking and crafting. Spring rolls are in that category. I give myself a pass, though, because even if they look a mess, they taste legit. They also walk that really gorgeous line between being indulgent, healthy, and fun.
That just so happens to be my favorite line when it comes to food… and probably sex.
I’m not going to pretend that I can make these rolls look good, but when you pack them with fresh herbs and dip them in a super-tasty peanut sauce, it doesn’t matter what they look like or how well they hold together or that they’re a little impossible to eat.
Good food is just that: GOOD.
Ingredients for spring rolls:
1 package rice paper wrappers (found at your local Asian market)
3 carrots, julienned
2 cucumbers, shredded or julienned
8 ounces cooked chicken or tofu, thinly-sliced
1 cup shredded red cabbage or romaine lettuce (optional)
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh chives
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Heat a little water on low in a frying pan. Keep it on low. DO NOT BURN YOUR FINGERS. I like mine and think they're important, but I bet you could definitely make do without them, because you are a badass.
Get a full-sized sheet of paper towel and dampen it. Lay it out flat on a large dinner plate.
Slip a wrapper into the warm water and then transfer it to the paper towel as soon as it softens. Keep the wrapper as flat as possible. We aren’t looking for perfection here, just good enough to keep it together.
In the middle of the wrapper, spoon a narrow, thin layer of sesame seeds. Layer basil leaves on top of the seeds and add a couple of sprigs of cilantro. Layer your protein, carrots, cucumber, a long chive stem, and then cabbage or lettuce (if you're using it).
This is where the craftiness comes in: First, you need to grow a third hand. Just kidding. (Unless you can, and in that case, please tell me how!)
Lift the top and bottom ends and fold in. While holding them in place, roll the right side of the paper over the folded ends and roll. Get it as tight as you can. Repeat for the remaining wrappers.
Ingredients for peanut sauce:
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sweetener (I prefer honey)
1 tsp red pepper flakes or sriracha
½ tsp ginger powder
a dash of garlic powder
Put everything in a bowl and mix it up. Adjust the spice and sweet according to your preferences.
Nom it all immediately and Pinterest the shit out of your food crafty self.