Monday, May 19, 2014

Butternut Squash and Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seed Spring Rolls

I know it's a mouthful but I could have gone the even more descriptive route and called them Caramelized Butternut Squash and Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seed Fresh Spring Rolls with Hot Chile and Sesame Dipping Sauce. Or just Squashy Seedy Rolls, but I think that's underselling them. Whatever you want to call them, they are a delicious and refreshing variation on traditional tofu and beansprout spring rolls. The roasted squash is sweet and smooth and the pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch, while the vermicelli and cilantro keep it recognizable as a spring roll. Plus, they are colorful and gorgeous! I made them for a masquerade ball birthday party last weekend and they were gobbled up, which part of me found disappointing. I was looking forward to enjoying the leftovers.

Note: I altered some things, but the original recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskovitz and Terry Hope Romero's Veganomicon: the Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. I like big fat spring rolls, so I increased the amounts of everything that goes in the rolls, the sauce recipe I left as is. Roasting your own raw seeds with tamari was my idea, but you can simply use roasted and salted pumpkin seeds if you like.

For the Rolls:
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
tamari or Bragg's Amino Acid to taste
1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 round rice paper wrappers
12 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
1 bunch cilantro, large stems removed

For the dipping sauce:
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot chile oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat your oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pumpkin seeds in a small bowl, drizzle with tamari and stir to coat all the seeds. You can use more or less tamari or Bragg's but I probably used a couple teaspoons. Sprinkle the seeds in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, stirring once to ensure they roast evenly. When they are beginning to brown remove them from the oven and set aside in a bowl to cool. Save the parchment paper to reuse for the butternut squash.

While the pumpkin seeds are in the oven, peel the squash and dice into ¼ inch cubes. Just don't get so caught up in dicing that you let the pumpkin seeds burn like I almost did! Place the diced squash in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. Lay the squash in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir the squash, then bake for another 15 minutes or until it begins to caramelize. Remove from oven, and place in a bowl to cool.  

While the squash roasts, prepare the remaining ingredients and set up a work area. Cook the vermicelli noodles, then rinse in cold water to cool. Rinse the cilantro and remove the large stems and maybe the small ones too if you really don't like them. Fill a large pie pan or other dish big enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot tap water. Once everything is ready to go, arrange it all within reach and get ready to roll!

Place one or two wrappers in the pie pan of water and let sit for 30 seconds to a minute. The wrappers will soften and turn translucent when they are ready. Gently lift one out of the water and lay it down flat on a clean counter top or other work surface. Place about ¼ cup of noodles on the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about an inch and a half clear on the sides of the wrapper. Scoop the roasted squash above the noodles and top with cilantro and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds (use a spoon for the pumpkin seeds so that they don't annoyingly cling to your wet fingers). To roll them up just fold in the sides of the wrapper, then pull the bottom up over the filling and do your best to tuck it under the filling. Then firmly roll it up. Set aside and repeat until you run out of ingredients. You might end up with about a dozen, but it depends on how generous you are with the filling, I think I only had nine big ones.  

To make the sauce, just put all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine and serve with the rolls.


  1. Oh my gosh. Spring rolls are my absolute favorite this time of year, but I've never thought to make such intricate ones. Will stash this away for some potluck emergency. THANK YOU!

    1. Yeah, these fancy ones were a first for me too and I think they are perfect for spring potlucks. I hope you like them and thanks for stopping by it's always nice to hear from you.