Culinary Appi-teasers: Spring Rolls with Roasted Pepper Curry Sauce and Curried Melon


Vegan Culinary Experience May EditionVegan Culinary Experience May EditionA couple of weeks ago I announced the FREE May edition of the Vegan Culinary Experience, entitled “Curries from Around the World” (yes, it really is free, just go on over and download it!).  But the month of May would not be complete here on Go Dairy Free without at least a couple of Chef Jason Wyrick’s recipes served up as appi-teasers.

Yes, if my bad pun didn’t give it away, we are featuring two of his appetizer recipes from the May edition. While the curry theme really showcases the different types of traditional curries and how to make them, Chef Jason works his culinary magic to create new ways to enjoy the flavorful combination of spices otherwise known as curry … and the following two recipes are ones I simply could not pass up. Both are light, refreshing, and easy … perfect for enjoying in the warm spring and summer months …

Spring Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Curry Sauce

Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick of The Vegan Culinary Experience
Serves: 8
Time to Prepare: 20 minutes


The Spring Rolls

  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup of shredded red cabbage
  • 1 oz. of thin rice noodles, soaked in warm water
  • ¼ cup of crushed peanuts
  • 8 leaves of red leaf lettuce
  • 8 spring roll rice paper wrappers, soaked in warm water

The Sauce

  • 1 tsp. of Thai red curry paste
  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 1/8 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of agave nectar


  • 2 limes, sectioned into quarters


Making the Spring Rolls

  • Shred the carrot and cabbage.
  • Soak the rice noodles in warm water (about 5 minutes).
  • Soak a rice paper wrapper in warm water until it just starts to become soft and immediately remove it (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Place a piece of red leaf lettuce on one side of the wrapper.
  • Place a small line of rice noodles in the middle of the lettuce, followed by the shredded carrot, and then the shredded peanuts.
  • Roll the wrapper half-way closed over the lettuce and fold up the back side of the wrapper (the third that is not covered with the lettuce).
  • Continue rolling the wrapper closed.
  • Repeat this with the other wrappers.

Making the Sauce

  • Blend all of the sauce ingredients together until you have a smooth dipping sauce.

Finishing off the Spring Rolls

  • Serve with a wedge of lime and some extra crushed peanuts.

Low-fat Version

Omit the peanuts from the recipe and add a quarter cup of shredded zucchini to make up the bulk.

Raw Version

Omit the rice paper wrappers and just use the lettuce. Use raw red bell peppers instead of roasted ones. Instead of rice noodles, use zucchini noodles.

Kitchen Equipment

Pot to warm the water
Plate to soak the wrappers
Small Bowl to soak the rice noodles
Grater or Food Processor
Cutting Board
Measuring Spoon
Measuring Cup


These can be served family style on a huge platter with a set of each sauce on either side or individually as shown. If you have a large lettuce leaf, pat it very dry and place that under the spring roll.

Time Management

You may be inclined to do all the spring roll wrappers at once before filling them, but I find that as they sit, they continue to absorb the excess water, making them softer and more prone to tearing as you roll them. It’s best to do one, fill it, roll it, and then move on to the next one.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this with a coconut peanut curry.

Where to Shop

Thai Kitchen makes a vegan Thai red curry paste (many of them have shrimp paste) and it is usually available at most grocery stores. Rice noodles and rice paper wrappers are sometimes available in common grocery stores, but always available at an Asian market. Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy both have great prices on roasted red peppers. Approximate cost per serving is $.75.

How It Works

The rice paper wrapper only takes a minute or so to hydrate and you can feel it soften with your fingers incredibly fast. Because it will continue to absorb the excess water left on it, I only hydrate it to the point where it just starts to become soft. That way it will achieve the right consistency after it is wrapped as it takes the moisture from the filling and whatever water is left on it. The filling is a mix of colors with the peanuts thrown in for texture. The sauce is a very sweet sauce which balances out the pungency and aroma of the red curry paste. The lime is there for those who want to create a sour taste to go along with the sweetness of the sauce.

Chef’s Notes

I also use the dipping sauce for pasta and salad dressings.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)

Calories 900.0 (112.5)
Calories from Fat 226.1 (28.3)
Fat 25.1g (3.1g)
Total Carbohydrates 145.7g (18.2g)
Dietary Fiber 15.8g (2.0g)
Sugars 22.8g (2.9g)
Protein 22.8g (2.8g)
Salt 942mg (118mg)
Vitamin A 564% (70.5%)
Vitamin B6 80% (10%)
Vitamin C 518% (64.8%)
Calcium 15% (1.9%)
Iron 25% (3.1%)
Thiamin 32% (4%)
Riboflavin 25% (3.1%)
Niacin 55% (6.9%)
Folate 30% (3.8%)
Phosphorous 38% (4.8%)
Potassium 43% (5.4%)
Zinc 22% (2.8%)
Magnesium 41% (5.1%)
Copper 23% (2.9%)

Interesting Facts

The main ingredient in most Thai curries is shallots.


Curried Melon Balls

Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick of The Vegan Culinary Experience
Serves: 20
Time to Prepare: 10 minutes + 30 minutes to sit


  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 small watermelon
  • ½ tsp. of yellow curry powder
  • Fresh mint for garnish


  • Cut the cantaloupe in half and remove the seeds.
  • Cut the watermelon in half.
  • Using a melon scoop, scoop out balls of the melons, making sure not to scoop into the rind.
  • Lightly sprinkle the curry powder over the melon balls.
  • Allow this to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Garnish the platter with fresh mint.

Kitchen Equipment

Large Knife
Cutting Board
Melon Scooper
Measuring Spoon


Try to prop the mint up amongst the melon balls. This works best if you leave a few leaves attached to the stem and cut just below the leaves.

Time Management

These should be served within two hours of scooping out the melon balls or else the melon starts to oxidize and go bad.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this with a glass of sparkling lime or lemongrass low-sugar soda.

Where to Shop

All the ingredients are fairly common. Approximate cost per serving is $.25.

How It Works

The melon should sit with the curry so that the moisture in the melon balls blends with the curry, creating a sweet, very lightly flavored curry sauce to coat the melon balls. There should only be a hint of curry to the melon balls. Mint is used for color.

Chef’s Notes

I love fresh melon and this is a great way to create an unexpected flavor that works well with the sweetness of the melon.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)

Calories 902.9 (45.1)
Calories from Fat 36.9 (1.8)
Fat 4.1g (0.2g)
Total Carbohydrates 199.4g (10.0g)
Dietary Fiber 13.2g (0.7g)
Sugars 176.0g (8.8g)
Protein 17.1g (0.9g)
Salt 109mg (5mg)
Vitamin A 606% (30.3%)
Vitamin B6 66% (3.3%)
Vitamin C 614% (30.7%)
Calcium 19% (1%)
Iron 33% (1.7%)
Thiamin 60% (3%)
Riboflavin 31% (1.6%)
Niacin 38% (1.9%)
Folate 41% (2.1%)
Phosphorous 30% (1.5%)
Potassium 107% (5.4%)
Zinc 21% (1.1%)
Magnesium 68% (3.4%)
Copper 54% (2.7%)

Interesting Facts

Cantaloupes have been cultivated for at least 4,000 years starting with the Egyptians.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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