Who doesn’t love rolled food? Simple, healthy, and almost always a perfect gluten-free alternative, they’re pretty hard to beat!
Spring rolls, summer rolls, nori rolls, they’re pretty much always awesome. Especially when you avoid gluten, these happy little almost-sandwiches are easy to find and nearly always a great choice. Rice paper wrappers, sheets of nori, and even large leaves of lettuce, chard, and kale all wrap perfectly around any ingredient combination to create easy and delicious packages of happiness.
Today’s recipe is basically a fresh and healthy steak salad with a crunchy rainbow of vegetables all neatly rolled up into a deliciously gluten-free package. Bright, fresh, easy, and seriously yummy.
Today was all about steak salad rolls with crunchy fresh vegetables and spicy aioli. A carnivore at heart, any meal that includes steak is a great meal in my book. Unfortunately, eating too much of it too often can be unhealthy. Also, making sure to find the really good meat from cows that have been treated well can make big beefy meals a little too expensive for enjoying every day. However, if you treat your meat like an ingredient rather than the dish itself, enjoying meals with a little steak here and there can become a regular treat! With lots of fresh and raw vegetables and a small amount of steak (making this dish more of a steak salad than anything else!), these rolls becomes healthy, bright, and amazing.
That’s the idea that makes a meal like this one perfect. All of the flavor of great beef cooked rare and deliciously, but in a dish that makes a small amount go a very long way.
There’s nothing out there that says that you can’t take all of your favorite sandwich or salad ingredients and turn them into a healthy and even gluten-free roll, so don’t let convention stop you. Love a pastrami sandwich? Try a pastrami kale wrap! Are you a big fan of a ruben but want to avoid all of that bread? There’s nothing that says that you can’t wrap those delicious ingredients up in rice paper or greens, or even use your sliced meat as the wrap itself. Even the steak salad from a few weeks ago could make an amazing roll, either in rice paper wrappers, or rolled up in the radicchio from the recipe!
The best part of cooking is the freedom and creativity that you can have, if you just trust yourself enough to give your crazy ideas a try.
I’ve talked about the technique that you’ll use to roll up your summer rolls here in this recipe for crispy tofu vegetarian summer rolls, so I won’t go into all of that again. Check it out if you’re interested!
Seriously Sublime Steak Salad Summer Rolls with Spicy Aioli
- 6-8 oz steak
- 1 Tbs neutral oil
- salt, pepper
- 8 rice paper wrappers
- Hot water, for softening wrappers
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, julienne or shredded
- 1 cucumber, julienned or cut into long wedges
- 4-6 mint leaves, chiffonade (sliced extremely thinly)
- 8-10 leaves basil (thai basil is very good here, but you can use any type), chiffonade
- 1 sheet nori, julienned
- 1-2 radishes,thinly sliced or julienned
- ½ cup red cabbage (or any lettuce or greens you prefer) julienned
- 1 avocado, sliced thinly
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (homemade or your favorite purchased)
- 1-2 Tbs lime juice
- 1-2 Tbs Sriracha (depending on your tolerance for spice)
- 2 dashes Tabasco
- 1 tsp olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a pan until nearly smoking. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper. Carefully add it to the hot oil and reduce the heat to medium. Without moving the steak around, allow it to cook for 3-5 minutes (depending on thickness) undisturbed. Carefully flip over and cook until desired doneness. (This will depend on your preference and your cut of meat and thickness. Frequently, another 2-4 minutes for medium rare.)
- Allow to cool and slice thinly, against the grain.
- One at a time, soak the rice paper wrappers in the hot water until pliable. Carefully lay on your work surface. Gently spread with a thin layer of spicy aioli, and then top with 2 slices of steak and a pinch of salt and pepper and the rest of the ingredients. Carefully roll tightly, folding in the edges. (see link above for more specific instructions.)
- Drizzle with more aioli, sprinkle with scallions, serve, and enjoy!
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