I was thinking about something to make for this months Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free event hosted by Gluten A Go Go, the theme is finger food and I thought I’ll make some rice paper rolls. My idea is not highly imaginative, but these rice papers rolls have been a life saver for me; spring rolls are one of my all time favorite foods and I went through some major agony when I found out that I could not have them anymore.
I discovered rice paper some years after going gluten-free and I didn’t actually know that I can bake them or fry them; I just ate them as summer rolls. After some time I tried baking them and they were almost like spring rolls, crispy, but maybe too chewy, this makes them a bit different than spring rolls. They are anyway good enough for me when I want to indulge myself with something crisp and salty.
You can of course use any filling you desire, but my choice is some salty and hot fried cabbage. I ate these kinds of spring rolls for the first time several years ago when I was 16, if I remember correctly, and never forgot about them, I still crave them occasionally. Those fantastic and perfect spring rolls I got the pleasure to taste were made by a Chinese couple; they travel around Finland during the summer and serve food at different summer events. I haven’t been able to do the exact kind of cabbage I tried back then, but I’ve managed to make something almost like it, the biggest flavors in this are garlic and salt. I still regret not asking them what they used in those spring rolls.
Spicy cabbage filling
-3 cups diced white cabbage
-4 minced garlic cloves
-1 tbls grated ginger
-1 red long chilli, I used the seeds too
-1 tbls rice vinegar
-2 tbls gluten-free soy sauce, I use tamari
-salt according to taste
-1 tbls sugar or syrup of some kind, I use honey or ketchup
-a dash of black pepper
-peanut oil, or some other kind of oil
Heat a pan on medium heat and add the oil and then the cabbage. Fry them until the cabbage has become soft and somewhat see through. Put the cabbage aside and add all of those spices - garlic, chilli, ginger, tamari and ketchup (or sugar) to the oil, move them around a bit in the hot oil and then add the cabbage, salt, black pepper and vinegar. Fry them for a small while and then add the diced scallions.
Taste to make sure you like it, add some spices if necessary.
I have found two different kinds of rice papers.
Start by taking a big bowl and fill it with warm water, then you’ll also need a damp towel and a dry towel.
Dip the rice paper into the warm water so that it turns see through and soft.
Take it out and place on top of a damp towel. Put some of the filling into it like this.
Then turn both of the sides like this.
Turn the lower part like this.
Keep on rolling upwards until you have this.
These can be eaten like this, but I usually brush them with some oil and bake them in the oven for a small while until they are crisp. It is much easier to bake these than to deep-fry them.
Usually I’ll have two kinds of sauces for these; the other one is just store bought sweet chili sauce and the other one is made by mixing hoisin sauce, peanut butter, minced garlic and water. Just mix everything together in a saucepan on medium heat until you have a sauce, taste it and add some more hoisin sauce, peanut butter or garlic according to taste.
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