so fresh: papaya salad rolls

so fresh: papaya salad rolls via thefirstmess.compin it!so fresh: papaya salad rolls via thefirstmess.compin it!so fresh: papaya salad rolls via thefirstmess.compin it!mint for papaya salad rolls via the firstmess.compin it!
I handed in my cookbook manuscript the other day and totally crashed afterward. I thought it would be this moment fraught with emotion and triumph, but really I just wanted a shower and a nap. Not a celebratory drink in sight! Also, truth bomb: the month leading up to my due date saw more pizza nights than you might expect from the future author of a higher vibrational frequency cookbook. Combine that with the constant coffee, way less sleep, and you might understand why some of my sparkle has worn off.

But I also feel like I’m slowly getting integrated with normal life again. There’s a whole world outside of my kitchen/makeshift office whoooaa! We’ve restocked the fridge and the weirdly mild weather has me craving smoothies, salads and other mega fresh preparations. I’d be so chill if I didn’t see another pizza for a little while, so this lighter style of eating is suiting just fine. It’s exciting to have time for foods with no higher purpose besides enjoyment and nourishment in the moment :)

So now that I have a big chunk of that project out of the way, I’m hoping I can be here more often. (I’m also hoping to book a beach vacation within a month weeeeee). I know people are always looking for a little extra inspiration around holiday time, so I’ll be plotting away with that in mind. I thought I’d start with snacks/small party bites.

I was craving a green papaya/mango salad a little while ago and then I saw what felt like 30 pictures of summer rolls on Instagram. I knew that I needed to combine the two things as soon as I had a free moment. Tropical fruit selection can be unpredictable at some of the grocery stores in my area, so the only papaya I could find was a moderately ripe one. A more sour, crisp, and green one would have been delicious, but the ripeness still worked here. My straggly mint plant came through with the greens for this, so still a little bit of local love ;)

Holiday hugs. Talk next week! (!!!)

so fresh: papaya salad rolls via thefirstmess.compin it!so fresh: papaya salad rolls via thefirstmess.compin it!so fresh: papaya salad rolls via @thefirstmesspin it!so fresh: papaya salad rolls via thefirstmess.compin it!so fresh: papaya salad rolls via thefirstmess.compin it!
Papaya Salad Rolls Recipe (with Spicy Lime Dip)
Print the recipe here!
Serves: Makes about 15 full rolls (30 pretty halves)
Notes: I originally intended to make this with mango instead of papaya, but no decent mangoes at the store! If you have access to nice ones, they’d be delicious here. Also a great video on salad roll wrapping technique right hereIf you’re eating a large volume of these on your own, I’d recommend a couple of tablespoons of cashew or almond butter blended into the sauce. The dip as written can get quite tangy/acidic after you’ve ate 6-7 of the rolls ;)

1-2 Thai green chilis, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 3-4 limes)
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly packed
1 cup cilantro leaves (with stems), lightly packed
1 large barely ripe papaya, julienned or peeled into strips with a julienne peeler
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium shallot, sliced paper thin
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
15 or so round rice paper wrappers

Bring a kettle of water to a boil and then take it off the heat. Let it sit while you prep everything.

To make the dip, combine all sauce ingredients in the blender and whizz on high until you have a smooth, runny sauce. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare the rolls.

To make the rolls, arrange the mint, cilantro, bell pepper, shallot, and peanuts on a large cutting board. Set your rice paper wrappers to one side. Next to the rice paper wrappers, set down a wide bowl that’s large enough to accommodate the wrappers. Pour the hot water into the bowl–it should be hot, but not too hot to touch. Place a platter or large plate nearby.

Take one rice paper wrapper and submerge it in the hot water. Soak the wrapper until it’s soft and very pliable, about 20 seconds. Lay the wrapper out flat on a clean surface. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts across the bottom third of the wrapper. Lay some mint and cilantro leaves on top. Fold up a section of the julienned papaya and lay it on top of the herbs. Place 4-5 strips of red pepper on top, and a little tangle of shallots.

Fold the left and right flaps of the wrapper in toward the center. Then, carefully bring the bottom edge (the one closest to you) up over the filling. Try to secure it around the filling as tightly as you can without ripping the wrapper. Keep rolling the filling up towards the farthest edge. Close the roll up and place it on the platter. Repeat soaking and rolling with remaining wrappers and fillings.

Cut the rolls in half and serve them with the spicy lime dip.

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  • Tenile03/12/2015 - 4:13 am

    Yum!!!! If you don’t mind me asking, which julienne slicer do you have?ReplyCancel

  • lisa03/12/2015 - 6:01 am

    wow. i truly love these pictures, and yeah, for sure, i do also love all kinda spring rolls with tangy dippin’ sauces. xx – lisaReplyCancel

    • Laura03/12/2015 - 9:54 am

      Spring rolls for life! Thanks Lisa. xo

  • Dena03/12/2015 - 7:02 am

    Congrats on getting the work done toward your book! These rolls look delicious. Thank you so much. DReplyCancel

  • TUULIA03/12/2015 - 7:09 am

    Congrats Laura! Can’t wait to see your book!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley | Sevengrams03/12/2015 - 8:45 am

    Congrats on being done with the manuscript. Seriously counting down the days until your book is released — woohoo! Perfect recipe for a well needed escape from all the heavy holiday eating and stunning photos! Glad to have you back in this space!ReplyCancel

    • Laura03/12/2015 - 9:53 am

      Thanks so much, Shelley! Feels good to be back in a more normal capacity ;)

  • Christine03/12/2015 - 8:52 am

    Hooray! Congratulations on submitting your manuscript, that’s very exciting! And just in time to wholeheartedly enjoy the holidays without a deadline looming. I keep hearing that we’re (finally!) going to have a more mild winter :) These rolls look so fresh! I am off to find myself a papaya :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura03/12/2015 - 9:58 am

      I heard that rumour about the mild winter too! Holding off on purchasing snow tires, hopes ablaze ;) Thanks so much, Christine!
      xo LReplyCancel

  • Elenore Bendel Zahn03/12/2015 - 9:05 am

    GORGEOUS! ..and biggest congrationlations!!! Now go snoooozzzzee <3 <3 <3 Love you so!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn03/12/2015 - 9:33 am

    These salad rolls look so fresh and delicious. I can completely relate to what you shared about the paradox of creating vibrant, fresh foods and then ending up eating pizza yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn03/12/2015 - 9:34 am

    I forgot to say congratulations! Haha! Such an accomplishment. I can’t wait to have your beautiful cookbook in my hands.ReplyCancel

  • Jenna03/12/2015 - 9:50 am

    These look so fresh and delicious! I love thaf the sauce is light too. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan03/12/2015 - 10:18 am

    HOORAY! I’m so excited for you that the book is done and handed in (p.s. I’ll drink a celebratory drink for you). Enjoy having some time back and many vaca vibes your way! xoReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar03/12/2015 - 10:21 am

    Huge props for handing in your manuscript girl! Hard work and calls for pizza and now you can hide under the covers for as long as you want! I love the papaya in this. It’s something I rarely use but LOVE the taste of! Definitely need these in my life.ReplyCancel

  • danielle is rooting the sun03/12/2015 - 10:32 am

    So beautiful are these rolls, Laura! I am craving something so vibrant right now due to a heavy roasting rotation. Adore the spicy lime dip (and the idea of integrating cashew or almond butter because I know I will eat the whole plate). Monstrous congratulations on completing your manuscript! Your cookbook will be the most beautiful event ever. Cheers to enjoying food in the moment sweet lady. xoxoxoReplyCancel

    • Laura04/12/2015 - 1:14 pm

      Thank you so much, Danielle! We’re starting to get roasted vegetable fatigue over here, too ;)
      xo LReplyCancel

  • Jeanine03/12/2015 - 10:46 am

    Congrats! I can’t wait for your book – these look amazing (I was drooling over your instagram shot of them yesterday). Perfect light party food…ReplyCancel

    • Laura04/12/2015 - 1:17 pm

      I can’t wait for yours either :D :D
      xo LReplyCancel

  • Edlyn03/12/2015 - 10:58 am

    Girl!! Your book is on it’s journey and you’re already back in the kitchen making magic. You’re inspirational to say the least!! I’ll be off to the Motherland next week and I’ll be sure to knock on the papaya tree a few times so I can make some of these for my family. Stay cozy and enjoy eating non-pizza foods again. XoReplyCancel

    • Laura04/12/2015 - 1:19 pm

      So jealous you’ll get to saunter on up to a papaya tree. Enjoy! And thanks so much for this kind comment, Edlyn :)

  • Erica03/12/2015 - 12:09 pm

    Congrats! I love your recipes and photos, so I am really looking forward to the book. I keep hinting to my man that this is the one I want once it comes out haha. Enjoy the holidays and being free of book writing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Grace03/12/2015 - 3:46 pm

    HUGE congrats on finishing your manuscript! I can’t tell you how excited I am to hold your book! These gorgeous and oh so fresh rolls look like the perfect way to start celebrating! So pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Linda | The Baker Who Kerns03/12/2015 - 5:10 pm

    Congratulations on handing in your cookbook manuscript! I can’t wait til it comes out! I love how those julienned papayas look. Makes me inspired to start julienning things that I wouldn’t have thought of! These rolls look lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Steph @ The Grateful Grazer03/12/2015 - 6:53 pm

    Congrats! So in love with the idea of tropical fruit in a summer roll! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae04/12/2015 - 11:14 am

    High fives, lady. YOU DID IT! Can’t wait to get my hands on that high-vibe book. These salad rolls look damn delicious and if I can manage to keep from going straight at the papaya with a spoon.. they will happen. BIG HUGS. <3ReplyCancel

  • Patty04/12/2015 - 2:27 pm

    These look great! And really looking forward to seeing your cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Keara McGraw06/12/2015 - 4:39 pm

    Congratulations on finishing the manuscript, Laura! What a feat, and what exciting things to follow :) This recipe neeeeeds to happen in my life asap. The shot of your mint plant is so heart-warming! Helps to keep some greenery around as the weather turns brisk. I’ve officially committed to keeping a rosemary plant alive through the winter. Cheers to mild weather and making deadlines! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Allyson07/12/2015 - 3:49 pm

    Congrats on finishing your manuscript! I can’t wait to read it when it’s finally out. I’m sure these are great for refueling, but I bet they also taste quite celebratory.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah | The Swirling Spoon07/12/2015 - 10:29 pm

    Congratulations :) hip hip!
    These salad rolls are a perfect articulation of everything I have been craving lately… I hope I can make ’em soon!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsey08/12/2015 - 10:50 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! Instagram had me craving Summer Rolls too..hahaReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well09/12/2015 - 10:27 am

    TOO GORGEOUS Laura. My eye balls just popped! And hooray for turning in you manuscript! Big big time congratulations lady – a beach vacation sounds like just the thing you would need after a few weeks of decompressing. So great to have it all done for the holidays so you can sink into a jolly coma. Lots of hugs and naps being sent your way, cannot wait to see this beauty of a book (!!!) xoReplyCancel

  • Kate09/12/2015 - 11:28 am

    Your photos are magnificent! These rolls are so pretty, I can see them taking center stage at a holiday party for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Nanogram17/12/2015 - 12:37 pm

    Just discovered your blog and am loving these recipes along with your point of view! Can’t wait for the cookbook! Thanks so much for all the love.ReplyCancel

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    Thank you for your Vegetarian RecipesReplyCancel

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