by Yvonne van Houtum International Beer Sommelier at Bierliefde.nl
Spring rolls and spring beers
The days are getting longer, everything is blossoming, temperatures are rising and beer gardens are filling with thirsty beer drinkers.
A simple guide to springtime snacking
That first beer out in the sun always tastes magic. Which beer did you choose for your first beer garden beer this year? Was it a Weizen blond or white beer, pilsner or hoppy IPA? When it comes to food, we often choose lighter meals during spring, which is why I’m sharing two spring roll recipes in this blog with suitable beer suggestions. Hooray for spring!
For those of you who don’t know exactly what a spring roll is: they’re rice paper wraps filled with noodles and raw vegetables, and sometimes fish or meat. You can put anything you like in a spring roll. They are light to eat because they’re not deep-fried, but make sure you put something soft in there as well as something crunchy. For example, soft strips of omelette and avocado, and for a bit of crunch, bean sprouts, spring onions, carrots and cucumber. You can make your spring roll a bit more exciting by adding fresh herbs like coriander and mint, or even coarsely chopped peanuts or peppers to give a little more bite. As a finishing touch, make a bold dipping sauce and your spring snack is ready.
A spring roll like this is packed with delicious flavours and textures. However, you need to make sure that the ingredients you use work well with the beer you want to combine them with. That includes the dipping sauce. Spicy peppers or mint can be fairly overpowering. Similarly, the beer you choose could overpower the soft flavours of the strips of omelette, avocado and other vegetables. So, it’s important to consider the different choices for the filling and the sauce carefully.
Spring rolls with chicken, avocado and spinach
Spring rolls filled with marinated chicken strips, creamy avocado, fresh spinach and rice vermicelli, and for a bit of crunch, bean sprouts and carrots. The dipping sauce is savoury and sweet, made with hoisin sauce and honey.
These spring rolls are tastiest when made fresh. They take some time to prepare, but trust me when I say - they’re worth it.
With this creamy, crunchy spring snack you should drink a soft, fruity Weizen like And Union Steph Weiss 5% or go for a fresh and bold blonde beer like Breugem Saens Zoentje 6.2% or Bax Bier Rokkenjager 6.5%. The sweetness in these beers works perfectly with the sweet and savoury flavours of the dipping sauce and the creamy avocado in the spring roll.
Spring rolls with shrimp, mango and cucumber
Spring rolls filled with shrimp, mango, crunchy cucumber, creamy avocado and rice vermicelli and finished with a generous amount of fresh coriander and a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
You can whip up this tropical surprise in just half an hour. You can also wrap them up in aluminium foil and take them with you somewhere nice.
With these tropical spring rolls you should drink a fruity Liefmans Yell’oh 3.8% (an explosion of fruit!) or try some white beers. Brouwerij ‘t IJ IJwit 6.5% is soft, sweet and fruity and goes harmoniously with the mango and avocado. Two Chefs White Mamba 5% is dryer and more acidic, with flavours of citrus fruit and coriander that are enhanced even more by the spring rolls. All fresh and fruity combinations.