SOUTHEAST ASIAN-STYLE SPRING ROLLS

 

spring rolls

Tonight we are having these for dinner! I documented how to make and assemble these a while back so I decided to post the pictures and instructions here on the blog so you could make them yourself! Have fun.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN-STYLE SPRING ROLLS

1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoon fish sauce
2 ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 ounces rice vermicelli
1 large carrot, peeled and grated on large holes of grater (about ½ cup)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted salted peanuts
1 medium jalapeno or 2 Thai chilies, stemmed, seeded and minced
4 large leaves read leaf or Boston leaf lettuce, halved lengthwise
8 – 10 round rice paper wrappers (8” diameter)
½ cup each, loosely packed basil, cilantro and mint
1 large cucumber, peeled and cut according to directions below

Peanut dipping sauce

1. Combine sugar, fish sauce and lime juice in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in salt and rice vermicelli. Cook until noodles are tender but not mushy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain again and transfer to medium bowl; toss 2 tablespoons fish sauce mixture with the noodles and set aside.
3. Combine carrot, peanuts and jalapeno in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon fish sauce mixture; toss to combine. Toss cucumber in remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce mixture.
4. Place lettuce on platter. Spread clean, damp kitchen towel on work surface. Fill 9 inch pie place with 1 inch warm water. Working one at a time, immerse each wrapper in water until just pliable, about 10 seconds; lay softened wrapper on towel. Scatter a few of each herb on the rice paper. Arrange 5 or so cucumber sticks horizontally on the wrapper, top with 1 tablespoon carrot mixture, then arrange about 2 ½ tablespoons noodles on top of the carrot mixture. Wrap spring roll, set on platter. Cover with second damp towel; repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Serve with dipping sauce.

Makes 8 spring rolls

TO SLICE CUCUMBER
1. Cut peeled cucumber in half crosswise. Cut into ¼ inch planks from outermost part of each cucumber half, leaving seeds behind.
2. Cut each plank in five 1/8 inch strips. You should have about 40 strips of cucumber.

TO WRAP SPRING ROLL
1. Lay filling on wrapper. (middle)
2. Fold up bottom 2-inch border over filling.
3. Fold left then right edge of wrapper over filling.
4. Roll filling to top edge of wrapper to form a tight cylinder.

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Notes: Be careful when working with rice papers. Soaking time is crucial. If soaked too long the wrappers disintegrate; when soaking for just 2 or 3 seconds, they remain too stiff to work with. Ten seconds is about perfect but make sure you place them on a damp kitchen towel. If you put them directly on the counter they will fall part.

The thickness of the vermicelli noodles from brand to brand, which affects cooking time. It’s best to taste the noodles every minute or so during cooking until they are tender. A rinse in cold water is then needed to stop the cooking and keep the starchy noodles from congealing into an inseparable mass.

I get bottled peanut dipping sauce in Oriental/Thai section of the grocery store. The rice vermicelli and wraps I purchase at an international market. (My grocery story just doesn’t carry these things)

I never go to all this trouble and make just 8 of these guys, it’s just so much easier to make more once you have everything laid out in bowls. Getting everything ready before starting is key.

Most importantly, have FUN.

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