Asian-Inspired Collard Green Handrolls (Vegan)
At the beginning of every month, I wonder over to Google Trends and type in spiralizer-related keywords. For example, “spiralizer recipes” or simply, “spiralizer.”
I do this to gain some insight on how spiralizing is taking the world by STORM!! (It really is, don’t try to argue with me here.)
I’m not going to lie – as a spiralizer-exclusive food blogger, it’s extremely encouraging to see the upwards trend in spiralizing. Keywords like “spiralizer recipes” are gaining momentum in Google. Translation: Every single month, more, and more, people are doing searches on google for spiralizer recipes! And with diseases like diabetes and celiac on the rise, this comes as no surprise. sSpiralizing is the ultimate solution to carb-laden, processed foods that for so many years have been a part of the North American diet. Spiralizing is more than a trend, it is a lifestyle.
Heck, spiralizing doesn’t just provide solutions for the North American diet – how about cultures whose primary staple is rice? Spiralized rice to the rescue!
Having said that, let’s be clear: I am not opposed to bread, pasta, and rice. No, no, no. Did I say no? For me, spiralizing is a way to incorporate more vegetables into my daily diet and a more nutritious, lower-calorie, unprocessed alternative to traditionally wheat-based products. I have a unique ability togo off on tangents, to ramble, and to talk a lot – so please, if you want to read more about the benefits of spiralizing – head on over to the Twirly Bites “Benefits” page.
Collard Green Wraps
Alas, another spiralized recipe today. This one is pretty labor intensive but I am offering you a few shortcuts to cut right to the chase. Lets get down to it.
This is not your average collard green wrap. This is a collard green wrap handroll. You will fold the leafy green into a handroll shape, rather than a full wrap.
This one is a hefty dish, but if you’re up for the work, the trade-off will be an amass of sincere thank yous from your loved ones. I was originally going to post something entirely different today, but I was wrapping up a collard green when inspiration struck.
In my typical kitchen misdemeanor, I realized that I had just rolled my favourite leafy green into a handroll. Seaweed handrolls are great, but I’m feeling this antioxidant-rich leafy green… not to mention it is completely budget-friendly and has zero additives and preservatives.
You Must Try…
Although I do endorse trying this entire recipe, I have to admit: if I were you, I would also take a stab at making the filling and eating it alone, without the wrap. And eating it… over and over…and over again. Picture me with a giant bowl of spiralized sweet potato noodles dangling from my mouth… I know.
I spiralized the sweet potato with the angel hair blade and can’t say enough about it – I’m pretty sure sweet potatoes were just maaaade for angel hair. If you still haven’t picked up a 4-blade spiralizer, I highly suggest doing so. That 4th blade is invaluable, especially for recipes like this where you are trying to accomplish delicate flavors and textures.
The recipe yields enough stuffing for approximately 10 wraps, or if you’re eating the filling plated, then 2-3 plates. Infused with garlic, lime, soy sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, and blanched almonds – the flavor profile will simply knock your socks off. This recipe is a fusion between the classic collard wrap (if you can even call collard wraps “classic”) and an Asian handroll, meeting somewhere in the middle minus the fish and seaweed….
On second thought, this is one of its own kind, and you will love it.
If you’re new to blanching, its time to roll up your sleeves and learn one of the coolest yet easiest cooking techniques out there.
This recipe calls for both blanched collard greens and blanched almonds. You can get away with not blanching either, but I highly recommend the full package. Go big or go home baby. Blanched collard greens are much more pliable than when used raw. They turn a deep shade of green, and actually taste nicer (in my humble opinion).
Blanching is as simple as boiling water, submerging the food for an extremely short, precise amount of time (30 seconds for the collard greens, 60 seconds for the blanched almonds), and bringing the cooking process to a complete halt by submerging the heated food in cold water. It’s as simple as that. I first learned how to blanch collard greens on Mind Body Green – there’s a great little tutorial, check it out.
How to Make Spiralized Collard Green Handrolls
Take a deep breath, pour a shot of whiskey (liquid patience anyone?) and do the following:
- Grab two pots, two skillets, and a large bowl to mix all the ingredients in.
- Boil and drain the bean sprouts.
- Prepare and blanch the collard green wraps.
- Prepare, blanch, peel, and toast the almonds.
- Saute the filling. Mix in the almonds.
- Assemble, exhale, and serve with a glass of white wine. Enjoy.
Once blanched, collard greens loose some of their structure and get a little floppy. If you’re serving these for a crowd, I suggest cutting a secondary wrap in half (down them stem). Wrap this “strip” of collard green horizontally around the base of the roll. This essentially “double layers” the collard wrap. Alternatively, you could also a) make fewer wraps and stuff them more or b) add additional filler, like diced avocado.
I used toasted sesame oil to add a more pungent flavor to the filling but you could also use regular sesame oil or olive oil in a pinch. It won’t taste the same with olive though – so I would counterbalance by adding more soy sauce.
The recipe calls for angel hair sweet potato but it won’t kill ya to spiralize with the 3mm blade either.
Possible Modifications to the Recipe:
- Enhance the flavoring with seaweed. Try wrapping a seaweed handroll on the inner layer of the collard green
- Add more “filler” to the handroll by adding sliced avocado
- Experiment with presentation techniques; try toothpicks to hold them together or more advance wrapping techniques. These are not limited to handrolls only.
- Learn more about cooking spiralized sweet potato
Thank you for stopping by, tag your creations on instagram @spiralizedtwirlybites, #twirlybites
- 10 collard green wraps (medium size, but this can be modified based on availability)
- 4 cups spiralized sweet potatoes, skin on, angel hair blade (or use 3mm if necessary)
- 1/2 cup plain almonds (or blanched if available)
- 1 cup bean sprouts, boiled and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 inch cubed ginger, finely diced
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil (1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Juice of 1 lime (or 1-2 tablespoons, to taste)
- See below for recipe (it wouldn't fit here)
PREPARE THE FILLING:
Heat 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil on medium heat in skillet.
Add diced garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
Add spiralized sweet potato, another teaspoon of sesame oil, sesame seeds, lime juice, and soy sauce. Sautee for 8-10 minutes, tossing every 30 seconds until sweet potato is softened and al dente. Be sure to use tongs to toss sweet potato so it cooks evenly on all sides.
Remove from heat and transfer filling to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
BLANCH AND TOAST THE ALMONDS:
Bring medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
Drop almonds into boiling water for 60 seconds.
Remove from heat, drain, and immediately rinse under cool water.
Remove skins from almonds. They should separate from almond easily by pinching the middle of the almond between forefinger and thumb.
Diced finely, similar to dicing garlic.
Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in skillet on medium heat.
Toss almonds into oil and stir until edges are crispy and darkened.
Note: the smaller pieces will cook a lot faster than the larger pieces and start to burn.
BLANCH THE COLLARD WRAPS:
Bring medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
Fill a medium-sized mixing bowl with cold water and ice cubes.
Prepare the collard wraps by trimming the stems off (see photo).
Flip the collard wrap face down and thin out the base of the spine or stem with a pairing knife. This will help with ease of wrapping the finished product (see photo).
Once water has come to a boil, use tongs to submerge collard greens one at a time into the water.
Boil for 30 seconds, remove from water with tongs, and submerge into bowl of cold water for 10-20 seconds until cool.
Remove wraps and pat dry with paper towel. They should be soft and pliable but not breakable.
PREPARE THE WRAP:
Lay collard wrap flat, concave side down.
Spoon out 1/4 cup of spiralized mixture across the length of wrap, concentrating most of it at the top and less of it towards the base of the stem.
Add a small handful of bean sprouts and toasted almonds.
HOW TO FOLD THE WRAP:
Fold base of the stem up 1″. Hold down the folded edge with one hand.
With the other hand, grab one side of the wrap and fold across to the other side. The wrap should be folded tightly at the base,but kept loose at the top.
Repeat for the other side of the wrap, creating a wide opening at the top of the wrap, tapering into a small base.
Use either either a toothpick to hold in place or serve as is.
Blanched collard wraps hold their shape well; toothpick not required.
Serve immediately or store for up to 3 days in an air-tight container.