This weekend I was feeling adventurous and thought I’d try making gluten free spring rolls! They turned out pretty well, and were relatively cheap to make. I’d recommend serving these as an appetizer when you’re entertaining, or eating them with rice and vegetables. I ate a plate of them on their own and they were a bit greasy to eat by themselves for a full meal. This recipe is totally lenient and can be changed to suit your tastes or accommodate local vegetables.
You will need:
- Rice paper (can be purchased at Whole Foods or specialty Asian food stores)
- Seasonal vegetables (I used broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peppers, bean sprouts, onions and garlic)
- Protein of choice (Optional – I used tofu, but chicken or beef or seafood would work)
- Gluten free sauces & seasonings (I used Teriyaki and GF soya sauce with garlic and onion powder)
- Grape seed oil
Step 1) Chop up all of your vegetables of choice into small pieces. Carrots should be shredded. Use organic when possible and make sure to wash them well!
Step 2) Cut up onions and garlic into small pieces. When you have that done, cut your tofu into small cubes. Mix the onions, garlic and tofu into a small bowl together and marinate with your sauces of choice.
Step 3) Now that you have one large bowl of vegetables, and one small bowl of protein, you’re ready to get stir-fryin’! Using a large cast iron pan (or skillet if you have one) heat the oil and add the vegetables. Be sure to grease the pan with enough oil, a few tablespoons should do. In another small pan, stir-fry your protein and onions. I chose to keep the two separate so that the onions and tofu would grill nicely.
Step 4) Once both pans of stir-fry are cooked to your liking (takes 10-15 minutes depending on stove temperature), you’re ready to season them. If you’re making them gluten free, make sure to check that the sauces you have don’t contain any gluten. Soya sauce for example has gluten in it! I purchased a gluten free soya sauce and Teriyaki sauce from Whole Foods for this, and added some garlic and onion powder. The stir fry mix tasted so good on its own! If you marinated the tofu and onions in step 2, you probably don’t need to add more sauce to this pan.
Step 5) Mix both pans of stir-fry into a separate glass container and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. While the mixture is cooling, you can prep the cast iron pan for frying the spring rolls. I put about an inch of oil in the pan and fried them on medium temperature.
Step 6) Take a sheet of rice paper and soak it in a deep plate for approx 10 seconds. They are fragile and will chip before they have soaked, so be gentle with them. Once they have soaked for 10 seconds, you need to act quickly to fill and roll them; they get sticky and hard to work with fast.
Step 7) Now that you have your rice paper ready to be filled, place a few table spoons of filling in it. You don’t want to over fill them (like I did for the first few) as they will fry nicer when you leave enough rice paper to roll it over several times.
Step 8 ) Roll the sides over like a burrito, then over on one end and keep rolling.
Step 9) Gently place the spring roll into the frying pan! Fry on each side for about 2.5 minutes or until golden brown. As they finish cooking, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to de-oil and place onto a non-stick plate right away. They will stick to the paper towels if you don’t take them off within 20 seconds. It helps to have someone help you with the process of soaking rice papers, filling the rolls and frying!