"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Summer Rolls

I'm not going to say these are simple to make but they're not that hard and they're worth it!  It's a delicious appetizer, lunch or snack.

You need:
Rice paper wraps*
Rice vermicelli* (this is brown rice vermicelli but regular is fine)
Rice vinegar*
Cooked shrimp
Diakon* (Japanese radish, optional)
Green onions
Bottled spring roll sauce* (or peanut sauce)

*avalable in Asian markets or major supermarkets

Defrost, poach and peel your shrimp if necessary.  

Julienne the daikon.  This is optional but adds a welcome crispness to the rolls.  

Next slice the cucumber in half and scoop out some of the seeds

Julienne the cucumber (as best you can).

Same for the carrot.

Slice the green parts of two green onions lengthwise into long thin strips.

Pretty.  I don't have the greatest fine knife skills but I'm pretty happy with how these turned out!  

Slice your shrimp in half lengthwise and refrigerate them until needed. 

Time to "cook" your rice noodles.  Prepare them according to package directions, which can vary.  Some will call for plunging into a pot of boiling water like pasta and some call for pouring boiling water over.  

These ones wanted to be covered in hot tap water and soaked for 10 minutes so that's what I did.  When looking for these in the store they may also be called rice sticks.  

After 10 minutes the noodles will be pliable.  

Drain them and toss with about a tablespoon of rice vinegar.

Now for the rice paper wrappers.  Take a large flat dish and fill with hot tap water.  I used a pie plate.  Also, place a clean dish towel on the counter to work on.

Here's what they look like.  They're a little tricky to work with but you get used to it after a few tries.

Submerge one rice paper wrapper in the warm water.

In a few moments it'll soften and become transparent.

Carefully remove the wrapper from the water.

And place flat on the towel.

Grab your sliced shrimp from the fridge and lay them in a line, cut side facing up.

Top with some julienned cucumbers, carrots, daikon and green onions.

Add a small handful of noodles.

And top with a few leaves of cilantro.  

Now for the rolling.  Carefully roll like a burrito, taking the side closest to you and folding it away from you over the filling.  Then fold in both sides...

And roll over into a tube. The rice paper will stick to itself to seal.

You can see the pretty shrimp showing through the thin rice paper.

As you complete the rolls, place them on a plate lined with a damp paper towel, then cover them with another damp paper towel to keep them from drying out while you work.

You can also skip the shrimp and make vegetarian rolls with just the veggies.

You can slice these in half for presentation purposes but they're easier to pick up when left whole. 

I used a store-bought spring roll dipping sauce with sweet chili flavour, but you can also whip up a peanut sauce if you're not dealing with allergies.  

A little extra work for a crispy, healthy treat.  I served these with a store-bought Thai coconut soup for a delicious meal.  It made about 12 rolls which was way more than enough.  They don't keep very well but you should be able to keep them overnight in the fridge wrapped in damp paper towels and then in plastic. 

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