The Simple Things
SPICY SPRING ROLLS
Add colour and zing to lunch or serve as a vibrant starter
Serves 2–4 10–12 large rice paper sheets for the filling 1 ripe avocado A little lime juice for drizzling 1 cucumber 2 carrots 1 ripe mango 1 small red cabbage 1 small iceberg or round lettuce Bunch of Thai basil for mango chilli peanut sauce 1 ripe mango 100ml milk of choice (soy, almond or rice milk) 100ml coconut milk 1–3 tsp chilli powder (to taste) ½ tsp curry powder 1 small onion 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp lime juice 2 tsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice 2 tbsp peanut butter
1 Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, peel, dice and drizzle some lime juice on top. Peel the cucumber and carrots, then cut into very thin batons or peel with a julienne peeler. Peel the mango, cut the flesh off the pit and cut into thin slices. Finely slice the red cabbage. Wash and drain the lettuce and tear into smaller pieces.
2 Add some lukewarm water into a large saucepan and soak one rice paper sheet in it for about 10 seconds. Transfer onto the work surface. (Make one roll at a time and don’t soak all the rice paper sheets at once, otherwise they will become too soft.)
3 Spread some of the veg across the lower two thirds of the rice paper sheet. Leave some space around the edges. Add some salad leaves first, then a few cucumber and carrot sticks, a little bit of red cabbage, about two mango and avocado pieces each and finish off with some Thai basil leaves. First, fold in the bottom of the rice paper, then tuck in the sides and roll up tight. Repeat with the other rice paper sheets until you have used all the filling.
4 For the mango sauce, peel the mango and cut off the flesh. Put into a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth, creamy and slightly thick paste. Taste and add extra chilli powder if you want the sauce to be spicier. Garnish with more chilli.
5 Cut the rolls in half and fold a salad leaf around the rolls – it prevents them from sticking together and makes them easier to eat. Serve with dipping sauce.
Cook’s note: Be careful rolling up the rice-paper rolls and don’t add too much filling – the sheets can tear very easily. Recipe from Eat better, Not Less by Nadia Damaso (Hardie Grant). Photography: Nadia Damaso