Modern Spring Rolls
Asparagus, Ham, Cabbage
Basil, Mint, Tarragon, Cilantro
Red Chili, Black Sesame, Almond, Key Lime
Almond Butter Sauce, Sesame Chili Oil
Inspiration from two fabulous but completely diverse restaurants combined to form the basis for this Modern Spring Roll. An absolutely lovely lunch at Thai District in Long Beach, California where we were served some very herbaceous and memorable spring rolls. The other dish was what my brother and I both proclaimed “the best duck we have ever eaten” at Otium in downtown LA, which was accompanied by an elegantly rustic black sesame cashew crumble or “soil.”
Here I wanted to serve some herbaceous spring-y spring rolls in an individual presentation where the diner could enjoy asparagus with a trio of diverse sauces. Roasted almond butter sauce makes a refreshing change from the ubiquitous peanut sauce. Chili oil adds that fiery balance, while the black sesame almond soil adds a nutty crunchy texture. A squeeze of fresh key lime juice enlivens and brightens the whole plate.
Modern Spring Rolls Recipe
Almond Butter Sauce for Spring Rolls
- 1/2 c. almond butter
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 t. grated ginger
- 2 T. tamari
- 1 T. tamarind paste
- 1 T. lime juice
- 1 T. brown sugar
- salt to taste
Process all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Stream in warm water (about 1/4 c.) until smooth but still thick. Add salt to taste if necessary.
Black Sesame Almond “Soil”
Process roasted almonds in a food processor until rough chopped. Add black sesame seeds and briefly process again to a crumbly consistency. Season to taste with Kosher salt.
- 1/2 c. dry roasted almonds
- 3 T. black sesame seeds
- 1/2 t. Kosher salt
Assemble The Spring Rolls
Fill a pie plate with cold water. Dip a rice paper wrapper in the water until it becomes slightly pliable then spread it flat between two clean damp towels. Lift off the top towel then assemble the the roll by placing fresh herbs in a line about a third from the bottom of the wrapper. Place two asparagus spears and one ham roll on top of the herbs. Top with shredded cabbage.
- steamed asparagus spears – seasoned with lime juice, cayenne, salt
- very thinly sliced deli ham, tightly rolled into cylinders
- very thinly sliced green cabbage – with squeeze of lime and pinch of salt
- fresh herbs -basil, mint, tarragon, cilantro
Roll the bottom of the rice paper over the filling as tight as possible to complete one turn, then fold in the sides. Next, place a few more herbs on the rice paper then finish rolling into a tight package. Cut on a 45° angle.
Compose The Plate
Use a pastry brush to apply a thick coat of almond butter sauce to the plate in a circular motion. Scatter a couple tablespoons of almond soil around the center of the plate. Arrange cut spring rolls over the soil. Drizzle sesame chili oil around the plate. Garnish with fresh herbs, key limes, and sliced red chiles.
#SensationalSides is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite side dishes. This week’s sensational side features ASPARAGUS. Get inspiration from our very popular Pinterest Board with over 400,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair here.
My friends at Food Network are sharing some amazing side dishes. You might enjoy taking a peek at other fresh springtime recipes from some fabulous bloggers below…
Creative Culinary: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Garlic and Parsley
Homemade Delish: Asparagus Crostini
Devour: 25 Ways to Use Asparagus
Feed Me Phoebe: Spring Quinoa Mujadara with Asparagus
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Asparagus & Arugula Panzanella
Healthy Eats: 5 Fresher Ways to Prepare Asparagus
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Asparagus, Onion & Pesto Pizza
Red or Green: Roasted Asparagus with Spicy Thousand Island Dressing
The Mom 100: Millet Greens Salad
Taste with the Eyes: Modern Asparagus Spring Rolls – Red Chili, Black Sesame, Almond
FN Dish: 6 Ways to Bundle Up Asparagus This Spring