Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Merry Spring Rolls

I love spring rolls, so fresh, light and filling.  Usually I only have these whenever I see them on the menu somewhere, then I asked myself one day, why?  Make them yourself!  I make lumpia, or filipino egg rolls, why not spring rolls?  So I did.

They are not difficult to make at all, and go together quickly once you prep everything and are ready to roll.

You will need:

Spring Roll Wrappers
Mung Bean Thread Noodles, or cellophane noodles or Sai Fun
boiled shrimp, shelled and split
shredded carrots
green onions, white part chopped, green part sliced lengthwise
baby spinach
cilantro leaves
soy sauce
rice wine vinegar
sriracha or garlic chili paste
fish sauce or patis, if you have it, if not, don't worry
peanut butter (optional)

First, soak your noodles in hot water.  My new Keurig came in very handy for this, one shot of hot water and a little soak and I was good to go.  Do this first before anything else, they need a little tub time to soften up.

Shred your carrots, slice the green part of your green onions lengthwise, and remove any stems from your baby spinach and cilantro.

Boil your shrimp until just done, remove shell and split down the middle until you have two exact halves.

At this point, if necessary, use a pair of scissors and cut your noodles. Just put your kitchen shears into the cup or bowl they are soaking in and cut them a few times. This will make them a good length to work with, otherwise, they are very very long. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, then with your hands squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Briefly dip your dry spring roll wrapper in water, until it softens up a bit, then place on a plate.

The residual water on the wrapper and on the plate will continue to soften the wrapper up so you can roll it.  By the time you put your filling on it, it will be ready.  If you wreck your first wrapper, congratulations, we all do!  Just dip another one and keep going.

On the bottom half of the wrapper, lay down a few spinach leaves, then a layer of shredded carrots, then lay down some noodles.  Lay a few pieces of green onion on top.  Place the shrimp, pink side down in a row above your veggie noodle pile.  Cover with a few cilantro leaves.

Lay the bottom of the wrapper over your veggie noodle pile, then lay the sides over.  Now carefully start rolling it all up.  Handle this with a firm by gentle hand, the wrapper is stronger than it looks, but it can tear if you are too rough.  Just keep rolling....

See how pretty the shrimp and cilantro look through the wrapper, keep rolling, you are almost done!

Tadaaaah!  You are done.  See?  Mine all look different, just like siblings in a family!  The cool part is that you can just eat the uglies!!

The dipping sauce is very simple.  Starting with a two tablespoons of honey, I whisk in about a teaspoon of rice vinegar, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, a few drops of fish sauce (optional), and a tiny bit of sriracha, which is a spicy hot garlic chili paste, you can use hot sauce or leave it out if you wish.  Whisk this all together until smooth, then taste and add ingredients until its sweet, spicy, tangy and salty enough for you.  Some people, also add a little peanut butter, and that adds a different flavor.  I will make my sauce and put it into two bowls, adding peanut butter to one, and the chopped white part of the green onion to the other.

Substitutions, make them any time you don't have the particular ingredient.  No cilantro?  Use mint.  No spinach?  Lettuce works!  No noodles?  Add more spinach or lettuce or carrots.

As always, make this recipe your own, be adventurous!


BRD Girl said...

These look amazing! Congratulations, as usual, you made me hungry....

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

Your spring rolls look beautiful, Merry, and I love the easy, yummy dipping sauce too. Thank you for sharing this post with Let's Do Brunch.