Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spring Rolls

I love it when you plan to make something that you have eaten in a restaurant 100 times and it comes out just as good, if not better.  I was really skeptical about making these.  I have actually had the wrappers for a few months now and have been putting them off.  But, they weren't that hard and they tasted amazing!  The first couple I rolled weren't perfect, but by the 3rd or 4th I got the hang of it.  The key to making them is keeping the roll damp.  As soon as that little baby beings try dry out even a little, it will split and all the fillings will be popping out.  So about 2 rolls too late, I figured this out.  Make sure you have a large section of wet paper towels that you can lay over the spring rolls as you make them.  Then as you finish one you can just lift the wet paper towel and place the prepared roll under.  If you do this, they will turn out perfect!  And don't forget the peanut sauce.

What you'll need:
1/2 pound shrimp
1 package spring roll wrappers
1 small chunk Chinese BBQ Pork sliced 1/8 inch thick
fresh mint leaves
fresh basil leavs
fresh cilantro
thin sliced carrots
thin sliced cucumber
thin sliced lettuce
1/3 package Rice noodles (cooked according to package)

Remove shells and tails from shrimp.  Bring 2 or 3 cups water to a boil in a pan, add about a teaspoon or more of salt.  Once water boils, drop in shrimp.  They will only take about 2 minutes to cook.  Once they are no longer translucent looking and that orangey color starts to show, they should be done.  Remove from pan and run cold water over them.  Set aside.  You could also just by precooked.

Get all ingredients together, you will have to work fast so you will want access to everything quick.  Read the back of the spring roll package to get an idea or what you're doing.  Basically, put some hot water into a pie plate.  Take one spring roll wrapper and dunk it in the water.  Make sure its totally submerged.  Keep gently moving it around.  In about 20 seconds it will be totally softened and playable.  Take a kitchen towel and get it wet.  Lay it in front of you.  Put the softened wrapper one the towel and spread it out.  By the time you are done laying the fillings down, the other side will be getting sticky for the rolling part.

Place a little of each of the filling into the center of the wrapper.  Put a few rice noodles down first. Use one mint leaf & one basil leaf (if smaller use 2) and a few cilantro leaves.  I used one piece of pork halved and 3 shrimp, a strip of carrot and cucumber, and a little lettuce for each.  Try to leave at least 2 inches of wrapper on each side.  Fold the ends over the filling.  You should have one long strip in front of you.  Take the side thats closest to you and fold over the filling trying to keep it snug.  Tuck it under the roll as you being to roll it over the other side of the wrapper.  Pictures will demonstrate this process.  Store the finished ones under wet paper towel.

I would recommend serving with peanut sauce.  My recipe is here.  You should be able to find the wrappers at most grocery stores.  I have seen them at some stores, but not others, so just keep your eye out in the asian sections.  Thats where you can pick up the rice noodles as well.  Those come in all different sizes.  I had fatter ones, size doesn't really matter.  If you make these, you will feel so accomplished (and satisfied)!  Enjoy!

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