Their fresh taste, crunchy texture and colourful interior make spring rolls a favourite appetizer. Further elevate their visual appeal by placing cilantro or parsley leaves on the softened rice paper before adding the filling, then topping the filling with more cilantro leaves before rolling up.

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) finely minced ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

Spring Rolls

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked pearl or pot barley*
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 10 rice paper wrappers (about 8-1/2 inches / 21 cm in diameter)
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 10 large cooked shrimp, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 small mango, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded cabbage or pre-cut coleslaw blend

To make Dipping Sauce:
In a small saucepan, combine lime juice, honey, fish sauce, vinegar, ginger root, garlic and red pepper flakes. Heat gently, stirring, just until honey melts. (Alternately, combine ingredients in a small bowl and heat in microwave for 20 seconds; stir to melt honey.) Set aside.

To make Spring Rolls:
In a small bowl, gradually add 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) Dipping Sauce to peanut butter, whisking until blended, smooth and the consistency of a thick sauce. Stir peanut butter mixture and cilantro or parsley into barley. Set aside.

Fill a pie plate or shallow dish with warm water. Place a rice paper in water and soak for 5 seconds. Remove and place on work surface until soft and pliable, about 30 seconds.

Across lower third of rice paper, layer approximately 1/10 of the red pepper and the barley mixture, a couple shrimp pieces, and 1/10 of the mango and the cabbage, leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border at each end. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling, then fold sides toward the centre; roll up to form a cylinder. Repeat soaking, filling and rolling with remaining rice paper and ingredients.
To serve, cut each roll diagonally in half. Serve with Dipping Sauce.
Makes 5 servings of 2 rolls each. (2 spring rolls and 1-1/2 tbsp (22 mL) Dipping Sauce each).

* To cook barley, bring x cups (x mL) water to boil over medium-high heat. Add x cup (x mL) barley . Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, approximately 40 minutes.

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 247; Protein: 6 g; Carbohydrate: 50 g; Fibre: 4 g; Sugars: 10 g; Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat: 0.6 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 18 mg; Sodium: 745 mg; Potassium: 166 mg