Super excited to introduce you to a new little lady today.
She is my favorite bowl to date – this coming from a serial bowl-recipe addict – and she is loaded with good things like rice noodles, sweet garlic lime sauce, peanuts, rainbow veggies, and mint / basil / cilantro, and she’s here to say HI FRIENDS I LOVE YOUUUU
She is the SPRING ROLL BOWL, making her appearance just in time for SPRING as in the time of year when weather is supposed to get warm and sunny and happy-fresh.
*looks outside, sees snow falling, returns face to spring roll bowl*
I always have to say it, because it’s that important for a recipe that features fish sauce: DO NOT SNIFF THE BOTTLE.
Fish sauce is that deliciously mysterious substance that smells deathly but, no, for real – it tastes like magic when combined with the right friends: lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and the other usual suspects. Today is our day to be the fish-sauce-charmers who bring out the best and only the best of the fish sauce, and that means, above all else, do not let the urge to just check if it still smells as bad as it did last time get the best of you. IT STILL SMELLS JUST AS BAD, OKAY?
The herbs, on the other hand, smell better than ever because spring! new life! The mint and cilantro and basil together – it’s literal food heaven to combine the cool freshness of that herb trio with the saltiness and tang of the sauce.
We are in that sad season of Minnesota life where buying basil means paying $4 for that little plastic package with basically three single basil leaves in it – but we are fast approaching the time where fresh herbs (basil included!) are becoming more readily available in more than three-leaf packages, at which point I will obviously reduce myself to living solely on the lushness of these flavor-packed spring roll bowls – you know, in order to live seasonally. I can take one for the team on this.
I just have a really good feeling about how much you’re going to like this.
If you liked the Vietnamese Chicken Salad…
If you like to build meals based around whatever’s in your fridge…
If you like to look forward to your lunches…
If you like spring rolls with that addictingly delicious sweet dipping sauce…
My friend. This has your name ALL-OV-ER-IT.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup agave or brown sugar
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- Rice Noodles
- Basil, Mint, and Cilantro (plz use all three - they're so good together!)
- Serrano Peppers
- Chopped Peanuts
- Veggies --> like carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers
- Protein --> like shrimp, tofu, chicken (optional)
- SAUCE PREP: Pulse the sauce ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
- NOODLE PREP: Cook your rice noodles by soaking them in cold water for about 30 minutes. When they're softened, transfer to a pot of boiling water for just a minute or two before quickly draining again. *This is my preferred method because it prevents them from getting overly sticky.*
- VEG PREP: Mince the herbs, slice the serranos, and peel or julienne cut the vegetables.
- BOWL PREP: Toss the noodles (hot or cold! your choice, friend) with the sweet garlic lime sauce and all the other ingredients.
Fish sauce smells bad. Don't sniff it, and/or don't be deterred when you inevitably sniff it on accident. It is SO delicious with all those other flavors and there is really no good substitute unless you make your own vegan-type-fish-sauce.
Nutrition facts are for 4 servings including sauce and 7 ounces rice noodles. I didn't add any other ingredients because it will depend on what you make it with.