Cooking Eating Dining Sharing

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rainy Day in Sonoma

Fresh Spring Rolls are so healthy and delicious.  They are full of greens, mint, basil and cilantro, crispy carrots and cucumbers and sometimes shrimp or rice vermicelli.  It is like having a salad wrapped up into a burrito rice wrapper and dunked into a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.  This was one of my favorites when I was catering.  They are showy and pretty on a platter and are easy to pass.   The good news: they are easier to make than you might think.   The hardest part may be finding the ingredients if you don't live near an Asian market or Center.  But there are many substitutes you can make.
Experiment using your favorite thinly sliced ingredients.  At a place on
College Ave in Oakland, they would put fresh crab with a small slice of spicy cooked sausage.  It was one of my favorite hors d'oeuvres there.  Serve it with spicy sweet dip.  Yummy!

Spring Rolls for Spring

1 carrot, very thinly sliced lengthwise
1 english or japanese cumumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
Boston or Red Leaf Lettuce, washed and dried and separated
1 Red Pepper, thinly sliced
1 bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced
8 oz. of Pea Sprouts, or 1 package
1 bunch cilantro
10 leaves fresh mint
10 fresh Thai Basil, or Italian if cannot find Thai
Rice wrappers, medium Rose Brand if you can find it
Optional, Rice Vermicelli

Thinly slice the Carrot, Cucumber, Red Pepper, and Green Onions, into slivers.  Set each aside, kept separately.  Pick herbs and set leaves aside.  Boil water for Vermicelli, then pour water over desired amount of vermicelli.  Let stand a few minutes, then drain and run cold water over to cool.  Cool and press as much water out as you can.

For the Rice wrappers.  Fill a big enough bowl or baking dish with warm water.   Dunk two sheets at a time into the warm water and let "cook."  These will only take about two minutes to absorb the liquid.
Gently take out and lay one at a time, overlapping quite a bit in the middle.  Pat dry the wrappers lightly.
First lay the lettuce down on the overlapped rice wrappers so that it acts like a small internal blanket to wrap up the rolls in.  It will help to support the ingredients.   Lay a few ingredients of each into the lettuce.  Don't overload or they wrapper will break.  Taking one side fold over the ingredients and tuck a little under while keeping a tight roll and fold over as you go until the wrapper ends and is "stuck" to the other side.  That is it!  Let stand for a few minutes until a little firm and it is ready.  Now, set a side and do the rest until all the ingredients are used up.  When you are ready to serve, cut on the diagonal in the middle and sit upright to show off the pretty colors of all the vegetables inside.  Dipping sauce can be a store bought version, but it is really easy to boil 2 cups of water with 1 cup sugar, then add the bright orange spicy garlic sauce from the store.  Enjoy.


jana said...

Looks yummy, can't wait to try them!

Liv Wan said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe.
I finally know how to prepare this Rice wrappers...