Oh, I made somethin' yummy people. Well, it might have just tasted really yummy after multiple dinner disasters last week, but either way, I shall enjoy the dinner glory while the moment lasts.
Fresh. Simple. Delicious.
I was craving something refreshing and light. Sometimes, girlfriend just has to mix it up! I love meat and potatoes as much as the next gal, but the tastebuds needed a wakeup. They need fresh flavors and bright colors. Forgive my measurements here; I didn't actually have a recipe for this, so I just made it up. I love to wing it as I go….I'm a free bird baby! Feel free to do the same with your favorite vegetables, you crazy rebel, you!
Fresh Spring Rolls
You will need:
– Spring roll rice wrappers (about 8)
– Cabbage, 1 1/2 cup shredded
– Carrots, 1/2 cup shredded
– Bean sprouts, 1 cup
– Cilantro and/or basil, 1/4 cup
– Shrimp, 1/2 pound (or meat of your choice)
– Fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon, minced
Step One: Get the veggies ready! I sliced my cabbage thin, shredded the carrots on a cheese grater, picked the cilantro leaves of their stems, and put the bean sprouts all on a plate.
Step Two: Cook the shrimp. I used only about a half of a pound, or four shrimp per spring roll. To cook the shrimp, just toss them with a wee bit of olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh, minced ginger, a pinch of salt. Saute for a short time in a pan until the shrimp are just nice, pink and cooked (about five minutes). Allow to cool.
Step Three: Fill a pie pan with hot water. This will be used to soften the spring roll wrappers. When you buy them, they will be hard, clear and disc-shaped. To reconstitute the wrappers, you simply place them one by one in the hot water. This will turn them into a slippery, jelly-fish like wrapper.
Here's how I do it:
– Put one spring roll wrapper in the warm water. Once it is soft and pliable (45 seconds – 1 minute), remove from the pan with your hand and move to a clean, flat service. Spread it out with your wet fingers. Then, put another wrapper in the warm water while you stuff this one.
– Line the wrapper with a thin row of cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and bean sprouts (to your liking). Just be careful to not overstuff! Less is more. Top the vegetables off with four shrimp, lined up along the top.
– Roll it up!
Step Four: After the roll is complete, I like to brush a teeny bit of sesame oil over it to keep it from sticking to the other rolls. And to give it that oh-so-divine sesame flavor.
Step Five: Complete with the rest of the wrappers! This recipe yields about 8 spring rolls. Cut in half for appetizers or just eat them all by yourself like I did.
And no spring roll is complete without a dipping sauce! Typically, they are served with a peanut sauce – but I'm not totally crazy about heavy peanut sauces, so here is mine:
Soy Dipping Sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste) OR 1 tablespoon peanut butter
*Double or triple or quadruple as necessary.
Don't let the rolling steps intimidate you. It's really not bad and would actually be a lot of fun to do with the kiddos! Who doesn't like to play with their food! Fried pork can also easily be substituted in for the shrimp if you are anti-seafood.
My kiddo has not volunteer to help me with dinner. She doesn't really play with her food yet either, at least for a few more months. Really, she is no help at all in the kitchen. I asked her to help me slice the vegetables, but she was obviously very busy.
I think she was fakin' it to get out of work.
Happy spring roll-ing!