I don't usually keep a ton of food around that I don't have a plan for, because, especially if it's some kind of specialty ingredient, I get some mild anxiety about it. For real. Normal people might see a box of spaghetti in the pantry and be glad to have it for later, but not me. Even though I wouldn't call spaghetti a specialty ingredient, when I see it I panic that I’m not planning to make pasta this week. That’s pretty much what happened to me after making these buffalo wraps, and I found myself with almost an entire package of brown rice wrappers and no immediate plan to use them up. This wasn’t a huge problem, because they weren't in any immediate danger of going bad, but I still felt nagged to use them every time I saw them in the cabinet.
Luckily, I didn't have much time to worry about them, because I had finally cracked open my copy of Mark Bittman's The VB6 Cookbook, and one of the first recipes I made was a Banh Mi Salad, which was delicious, but I kept thinking how cute the meatballs would be if I made them smaller, and then how easily all of the ingredients would roll up into a rice wrapper, and then how fun they would be to eat. You know, just the basic domino effect of a thought process that gives me most of my ideas.
You still have a lighter version of the bahn mi sandwich, but this way you still get to eat with your hands!
Turkey Meatball Banh Mi Spring Rolls
Partially adapted from The VB6 Cookbook.
For the Spring Rolls
1/6 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 large carrot, shredded
1 small daikon radish, peeled and shredded
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tbs fish sauce
1 romaine heart, torn into large pieces, ribs removed
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
10 brown rice wrappers
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbs sriracha or other chili garlic paste
- In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup and salt, then add in carrot, daikon, and shallots. Stir mixture together and then refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat broiler. Combine turkey with garlic powder, red chili flakes, pepper, fish sauce and pinch salt until all ingredients are incorporated, then, using a teaspoon measure, form mini meatballs (should make about 40).
- Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and broil for 5-7 minutes until cooked through and beginning to brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- When ready to assemble, get all ingredients ready. Soak a brown rice wrapper in cool water until pliable, then lay it on a flat surface. Lay lettuce leaves horizontally along the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1-2 inches at each edge. Lay daikon and carrot mixture on top of the lettuce, then top with 4 meatballs. Sprinkle cilantro on top and roll the spring roll. Fold the left and right sides of the wrapper in, then bring the bottom up over everything and roll away from you, like a burrito. Lay seam side down on a plate and repeat with remaining 9 wrappers. There's a handy visual guide below.
- When ready to serve, combine the mayo and the sriracha and stir to combine, then serve along side the spring rolls and enjoy!