Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spring Rolls for Taste and Create and Tapas

I bought some rice paper a couple of weeks ago, mainly cause I wanted to try my hand at making some spring rolls.   It's been awhile since I've some, and as I think I've said before here, a lot of the time if I'm craving something other than fish, I have to make it myself since there are not a lot of restaurants close by.   And luckily for me I was assigned My Cooking Journey for Taste and Create this month.   I say lucky cause she had this recipe on her site for Spring Rolls.  And it looked easy.   And the ingredients were not only vegetarian friendly, but gluten-free friendly.

Wait a minute, can something be gluten-free friendly?  Or would it be correct to just say it's gluten free.   Whichever, all I know it was an adventure making these.

Spring roll wrappers, especially the rice paper kind have been known to be kinda difficult, but I figure since I've mastered phyllo dough, sorta, I can handle  rice paper.    Famous last words?  Nah.     The rice paper was actually fairly easy to work with.   Somewhere along the way I'd read that you swish the rice paper through warm water, back and forth 5 times.  And it works.  I tried doing it that way as well as setting it in the water as well.   Ummm, did you know Rice paper turns transparent when it gets wet?  It does.

Here are the photo's of the process alongside  the recipe.   I will note that I used this super duper toy tool I got with my mandolin many years ago and it shredded the carrot and cabbage so well.

Spring Roll Recipe
1 ounce Rice Noodles or Mung Bean Noodles, prepared, and chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 package Rice Paper, about 15 sheets
 1 cup  Cabbage shredded very fine
1 scallion/green onion, finely minced
1 Carrot, grated fine
2 tsp. Cilantro, finely chopped   (my Cilantro had headed south so I substituted finely chopped celery leaves)

1-2  tbsp Rice vinegar 
1  tsp Sugar
½ tsp Salt 
1 clove  Crushed garlic
1 tbsp Water

Mix dressing ingredients together and set aside. 
Prepare the cabbage, carrots, green onion, cut noodles and celery leaves.

 Toss together until well mixed.   Pour the dressing over top and toss again.  Set this aside for about 20 minutes to let all the ingredients marinate.  

Keep a flat bowl with hot water in the work area. Slowly immerse a single rice paper sheet into the hot water, dip it back and forth for a count of five.  Really.  Swish it back and forth five times.  or four if you're impatient.
 I put a damp kitchen towel on top of my cutting board and placed the wet rice paper on that.   It did make it easier to roll up the spring roll.  And even though my first couple of attempts were a little strange looking, it did not take long to do these.  I kept a damp towel handy and covered the rolls as I was making them. 
Place about 2 tbsp of the prepared noodles and vegetable mixture on one half of the sheet (the side closer to you)
Roll the rice paper tightly so that all the stuffing is tight and intact. It will take some practice to roll them well.  Keep them covered with a damp towel until ready to serve. Serve with sweet chili sauce.

I prepared these about 5 hours before I served them.   I kept them covered with a damp towel, in the fridge and they held up very well.  

And I have to say, they disappeared rapidly at Tapas.   I got some lovely positive feedback on how tasty they were.  This will be something I make for myself as well as others, again.   Just gotta go to the big city and get more rice paper.   

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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