At dinner at Dahlia Lounge one evening, I ordered a duck entree and it was accompanied by a fresh roll … wrapped not in a rice wrapper and with no rice noodles included, but wrapped in a collard green leaf and filled with vegetables. A GREEN fresh roll! Brilliant!
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Do you enjoy Asian food? It's one of my favorite cuisines although there are many ingredients that I try to avoid on a daily basis to better support my thyroid, the whole endocrine system, and my blood sugar levels … like soy sauce and sugar ... which Asian food relies heavily on! It's so delicious, though, and I thought I should be able to at least enjoy it at home substituting ingredients that I tolerate better.
So I decided to recreate that fresh roll at home. Here's what I came up with.
Green Fresh Roll Wrapper
Get yourself a fresh bunch of collard greens. They are large and sturdy and just right for these rolls.
Put a big pot of salted water on to boil. I use Celtic gray salt because it has tons of minerals and has a rather coarse texture so it is awesome to use in this way. Put the collard greens in the boiling water for three minutes, then pull them out and shock them in an ice bath (a bowl filled with ice and water) for just as many minutes to make them stop cooking.
After the hot tub and the polar bear plunge, lay the leaves out flat on a dish cloth or on paper towels, lay another layer on top and be sure to get the leaves as dry as possible. I cannot get over the color!
Find the cutest kitchen help possible, teach him how to carefully peel carrots, then go about the task of julienning. A julienne cut is a long narrow cut resulting in matchstick-style pieces of vegetable.
You've not only got carrots to julienne, but also red peppers, and cucumbers. While you're at it, go ahead and chop up some basil, cilantro, and mint.
How to rock 'n roll
It's time to roll up now … so lay out a collard green leaf, put a bit of each vegetable and herbs on it. You can always add boiled shrimp as I did and as I advise. Use two large ones cut in half horizontally or use about six salad shrimps.
Now it's time to fold it … start at the root side and fold it up.
Then starting at the side closest to you, fold it over the julienned vegetables and shrimp, if using.
Tuck it in tight as you would a burrito … assuming you've ever rolled one of those! Tuck in the other end … (using both hands preferably, but I'm also the photographer so it's a one-handed deal!)
Et Voila! All that's left to do is quickly mix up some sauce!
What type of sauce goes with Green Fresh Rolls?
Typically, fresh rolls are served with peanut sauce so I made one using almond butter instead and substituting coconut palm sugar for the sweetener and coconut aminos for the soy sauce. The other sauce is a vinegar sauce with a little quick of spice and scallions.
Delicious and healthy as well.
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- Crabcakes with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
- Insalata Nostrana - Radicchio Caesar Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
Green Fresh Rolls with Two Sauces
PEANUT (almond) SAUCE
- ¼ cup almond butter or peanut, if you're not concerned about allergies
- 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce You can find gluten-free hoisin, but not soy-free.
- 2 teaspoons coconut aminos or tamari, or soy sauce
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce
- 1-2 Tablespoons of warm water or more as needed to thin the sauce
- Mix everything together and stir till smooth.
VINEGAR DIPPING SAUCE
- 1 Tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce Red Boat brand is best!
- 1 Tablespoon finely shredded carrot
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
- Mix all ingredients together and set aside while you make the rolls.
GREEN FRESH ROLLS
- 1 bunch of collard greens usually 10-12 leaves
- 1 large carrot peeled and julienned
- 1 large cucumber julienned
- ½ of a red pepper julienned
- 1 avocado sliced (optional)
- fresh cilantro mint, and basil (any one or combination of these)
- 20 medium cooked shrimp cooled, peeled, and sliced in half lengthwise (or salad shrimp)
- Prepare the dipping sauces.
- Cut any long stems off of the collard greens. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While you're waiting on it to boil, prepare a large bowl with cold water and plenty of ice. Add the greens to the boiling water and leave them in the water for three minutes. Immediately plunge them into the ice water and leave them there for three minutes. Lay paper towels or dish towels out and place each leaf flat on the towels. Put another towel on top and press carefully to dry the leaves.
- Lay a single collard green leaf on your workspace, and place a few sticks of carrots, cucumber, red pepper, and avocado (if using) in the middle of the leaf. Sprinkle on the herbs, then arrange the shrimp on top. Be careful to not be too greedy with the amounts because you want to be able to roll the leaf without it bursting!
- Starting at the root end of the leaf, fold it up over the filling. Then fold the side that's closest to you over, bring in the opposite side and keep rolling tightly, tucking in the filling as you go, if necessary.
- Cut in half, arrange on a serving plate, and serve with the dipping sauces.