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  • Writer's pictureAdam Heard

Fresh Rolls with Homemade Plum Sauce | Big Flavour Lite

On episode 5 of Big Flavour Lite I re-create a Chinese take-out meal at home. Taking inspiration from my college days Friday night special, I try to impress Jenn with my healthier, vegetarian options.

Fresh rolls are a super healthy take on egg rolls. Not the same thing, but let’s say close enough! Any raw vegetables will work as long as they are thinly sliced. For this episode of Big Flavour Lite we used carrots, red pepper, cabbage, bean sprouts and green onions.

Plum sauce was a childhood favourite, Chinese food just wasn’t the same without barrels of the stuff! With Jenn at my side I now know that the commercial stuff is packed full of ingredients that aren’t so good for us. Besides everything is better when you make it fresh. This sauce can be made ahead of time or left to simmer while you get the fresh rolls ready.

Fresh Rolls


  • 1 large carrot - thinly sliced or grated

  • 1 red pepper – thinly sliced

  • Bean sprouts

  • ¼ of a green cabbage head – thinly sliced

  • Green onions – thin long slices

  • Rice paper wrappers – available in the international aisle of most large grocery retailers or your local Asian grocery

  • Large bowl and boiling water for soaking the rice paper

Putting it Together

  1. There is no wrong way to put these together! The key is to keep the vegetables nice and thin so that they are tender. Cut vegetables in length so that they take up about 2/3 of the width of the rice paper.

  2. Soak the rice paper in hot water for 15-30 seconds until pliable. This is the trickiest part. I ripped a few the first couple times I made these. You get a feel for the right texture. Too soft and they rip or don’t stick to themselves, too hard and they won’t roll!

  3. Experiment with amounts of vegetables, in general it’s like making a wrap. You want enough vegetables to fill it with enough room left over to roll the paper onto itself. Place vegetables in centre of rice paper fold in ends, fold one side over and roll tightly. Paper will stick to itself.

  4. Repeat the process until you are out of vegetables.

Optional Additions:

  • Herbs such as mint, basil, cilantro

  • Broccoli stems

  • Tropical fruit such as thinly sliced firm mango or papaya

  • Lettuce, savoy cabbage, other types of sprouts

Plum Sauce


  • 2 pounds ripe plums

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

  • 2 cloves diced garlic

  • ½ cup diced onion (used ½ of a Vidalia on the show)

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 star anise or ¼ teaspoon ground

  • 6 whole cloves or ¼ teaspoon ground

Putting it Together

  1. Remove pits from plums and roughly chop, add plums and all other ingredients (except whole spices) to a medium sized pot.

  2. *If using whole spices the cinnamon can go directly in the pot or it can be smashed into pieces to be added to a spice sachet. To make the spice sachet cut a piece of cheesecloth place whole spices in center tie with string and place in pot.

  3. Simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove whole spices.

  5. Use an immersion blender or food processor to blend sauce until smooth. Sauce can be served warm or cold. Keep leftover sauce refrigerated in an airtight container for about 1 week.

Jenn’s notes:

Jenn found the sauce to be a bit sweet she suggests using ¼ cup honey in place of the brown sugar and the 2 tablespoons honey. This also depends on how ripe your plums are. The riper the plums the sweeter they are. Jenn likes to start out on the low end of sweet and add extra honey if the finished product is too sour.


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