I don’t know precisely when it happened, but as of a couple years ago, I decided that I loved spring rolls. I mean, I had always enjoyed them, but now, I really, truly love them. But, the problem with spring rolls is that when you order them in restaurants, the restaurant gyps you on the meat and stuffs it with lettuce. LAME.
For me, the traditional spring roll (as in, what I eat when I eat spring rolls at my parents’ house) is a rice paper wrapper stuffed with lettuce (probably green leaf, maybe red leaf), herbs such as mint or chives or Thai basil, boiled shrimp, and boiled pork, probably pork belly so you get a little bit of fat. And, in my house, you dip it in a mixture of Vietnamese nuoc mam (there are some accent marks over those letters, but I haven’t a clue where) and hoisin sauce. It work as an appetizer or an entree, and it’s always light and fresh. I never feel overly full when I eat spring rolls.
I tossed it around in my head how to remake these, and my key sticking point was that I needed to choose something that would still make sense with that rice paper. It’s the key spring roll ingredient. I decided to go with a Korean marinated steak wrapped with kim chi. What I ended up with was a marinated steak, maybe kind of Asian-influenced in flavor, wrapped with a marinated red onion and cucumber salad, green leaf lettuce, and rice noodles brushed with olive oil and sliced green onions.
I used the marinade for the steak from a recipe by Confections of a Foodie Bride as well as her cucumber slaw recipe, but since I didn’t really have time for the crockpot, I just used some thin slices of steak and threw it onto my grill pan.
Asian Steak Spring Rolls (adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)
Ingredients for Steak
1 lb of thin sliced steak
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp honey
Ingredients for Cucumber Slaw
1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Ingredients for Spring Rolls
green leaf lettuce
rice paper wrappers, dried
rice noodles, optional
1. Marinate the steak for about 30 minutes. (I don’t measure as well anymore so I kind of just toss in enough sauce to coat. And Sriracha’s just to taste.)
2. While the steak is marinating, toss together cucumbers and red onions with rice vinegar and salt, to taste.
3. Grill the steaks for a 2-3 minutes each side, depending on desired doneness.
4. Prepare the rice paper wrappers according to package instructions. (You just rehydrate it by dipping it in some lukewarm water, place it on a plate, and it’ll soften right away.)
5. To construct the spring roll, add some leaf lettuce, then rice noodles if using, then steak, and top the steak with the cucumber slaw. Fold like a burrito. Enjoy!
(If you’d like to dip it in something, a peanut sauce or a mixture of hoisin and Sriracha might work.)