Pickled vegetable summer rolls with fresh plum sauce
These refreshing rice paper rolls are just the thing on a hot summer day. Crunchy vegetables take on a lightly sour flavor thanks to the rice vinegar, which contrasts nicely with the sweet plum sauce. Speaking of which, once you try making this easy plum sauce, you will want to say goodbye to store-bought plum sauce forever. If you have leftover sauce, brush it on chicken or pork before grilling for a delicious Asian-inspired treat.
10 rice paper spring roll wrappers $1.50 for 30
1 carrot $0.25
6 pieces asparagus $3 for a bunch
1/2 red onion, sliced very thinly $0.50
1/2 cup rice vinegar $2 for 10 oz.
1 small bunch mint leaves, stems removed $1
5 medium plums, pits removed, roughly chopped $2
1 small piece ginger, finely minced (about 1 tsp) $1
1 clove garlic, finely minced Pantry
1 small bunch cilantro (1 handful), roughly chopped $1
1/8 cup brown sugar Pantry
2 tbsp soy sauce Pantry
Total Cost of Ingredients: $12.25
Use a vegetable peeler or very sharp knife to slice carrot and asparagus into very thin strips. Place, along with red onion, in a small bowl. Cover with rice vinegar and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
While vegetables refrigerate, place plums, ginger, garlic, cilantro, brown sugar and soy sauce in a small pot. Heat over medium heat until plums begin to break down, 7-8 minutes.
Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree mixture and return to pot. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture reduces into a thick jam-like sauce. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
To assemble the rolls, wet a wrapper under the tap or in a bowl of lukewarm water and shake gently to remove excess liquid. Lay wrapper on a clean, dry surface. Arrange a few pieces of mint in the center of the wrapper. Lay a few sticks of carrot and asparagus on top of the mint and top with a few pieces of onion, making sure that all ingredients are facing in the same direction. Once the wrapper is pliable enough to work with, tuck in the ends and roll up tightly. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.
Serve sliced on the bias with plum sauce for dipping..
Makes 10 spring rolls.
Guest post by Gabi Moskowitz, an SF-based food writer and managing editor of BrokeAss Gourmet, the premier food and lifestyle blog for folks who want to live the high life on the cheap.