Many cultures are on board with kicking off a new year in good health. The Chinese have associated whole foods with health, wealth and happiness for millennia.
According to The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, in Mandarin carrots are called hong luo bo, which sounds like the word for “red,” a color that symbolizes good fortune. In Mandarin, chives are known as jiu cai,which sounds like “forever vegetable,” and are eaten to ensure a long long life. The word for fish, yú, is pronounced the same way as another word for “increase in prosperity.”
And the spring roll represents wealth because its shape is like that of a gold bar. But, particularly in the case of the recipe we've shared here, which wraps raw carrots, cucumbers and chives with fresh lettuce leaves and smoked salmon, it's also a symbol of a fresh, healthy start.
Serve this dish with store-bought peanut dipping sauce. In China, peanuts represent health, long life and wealth.
- 6 rice paper wrappers (can be found in many Asian-ingredient stores)
- 6 lettuce leaves, such as green oak, butter crunch or Bibb
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1 European cucumber, outside portion only (no seeds), julienned
- 1 small bundle of chives
- .5 Cup fresh cilantro
- 4 Ounce smoked salmon, divided into 6 pieces
- Total Time: 15 min
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: N/A
- Lay damp paper towel over cutting board to make a work area to roll spring rolls. Soak one piece of rice paper in warm water (per instructions on package) and then carefully remove and lay flat on work surface. Place one slice of salmon down first in a thin stripe across the middle of the paper from one end to the other. Create layers of the remaining ingredients on top of salmon. Roll paper into a tight cylinder around contents. Slice roll into 2 or 3-inch pieces. Repeat for each roll. Set spring roll slices, cut end down first, on serving platter. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.