and fresh spring greens wrapped in rice paper.
Recently, a co-worker shared her lunch of spring rolls with me. They were absolutely amazing! She had a wonderful combination of delicate spring greens, crisp spears of cucumber, slices of sweet Asian sausage, and an unexpected surprise. She had rolled an egg roll wrapper into a half-inch rod, which was fried to a golden crisp. I thought, what a great idea to add a crunch to a traditional spring roll. It was like an explosion of textures in my mouth! I knew I had to try to make them at home.
Unfortunately, I don’t live near an Asian market, so I decided to improvise with products I could get at any grocery store. I thought a sweet apple sausage would replicate the sweetness of the Asian sausage. I wasn’t able to find egg roll wrappers, so I substituted phyllo dough to get the same delightful crunch. While experimenting, I found that baking the phyllo was better than frying, making it lighter and less greasy.
Any leftover rice paper can be stored in an airtight container for months, and any unused phyllo dough can be rewrapped and refrozen. The dipping sauce also freezes well, so you can make a lot of rolls, or just enough for two.
1 pkg. phyllo dough
1 pkg. Asian rice paper
1 pkg. Trader Joe’s sweet apple sausage
1 pkg. baby spring greens
1 – 14 oz. can light coconut milk
1 cup hoisin sauce
Sriracha hot sauce to taste
Take one sheet of phyllo and cut it in half lengthwise. Then cut each half in half crosswise. Place one sheet on top of another sheet. Starting at the shorter end, roll the dough tightly to create a rod. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet one inch apart. Lightly spray each rod with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the rods over halfway during the baking time, so that they brown on all sides. When cooled, cut each rod, so it’s 2 inches shorter than the rice paper.
All of the ingredients should be cut into the same length in order for them to fit uniformly on the rice paper. It also makes it easier to wrap. Cut the sausage in half lengthwise. Cut each half into thirds lengthwise. Brown sausage strips in a lightly oiled pan. Set aside.
Cut the cucumbers into ¼-inch thick spears, the same length as the sausage. Set aside.
Set out all ingredients like an assembly line. Put a wet paper towel on a cutting board. Have a big bowl filled with warm water next to it. Dip the rice paper in the warm water until it is soft and pliable. Remove from the water and place on the wet paper towel. Put 4 or 5 spring green leaves in the middle of the rice paper. Add a cucumber spear, a strip of sausage, and a phyllo rod on top of the greens. Roll the rice paper like you would a burrito, tucking in the sides. You can also find wrapping directions on the back of the rice paper package. Rolling the spring roll is much easier if you do not overstuff it. Cover the spring rolls with a wet paper towel until ready to serve.
In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk and hoisin sauce, and cook over medium heat. Stir until sauce just starts to boil. Add hot sauce to your own taste. Serve the dipping sauce with the spring rolls and enjoy!
Recipe by Gale