Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Spring Rolls In Winter.

I always have shrimp on hand - usually 20-30 pounds in the freezer.
So any shrimp dish is a mere thaw away.

Today, I'm going with shrimp spring rolls.  
It's a light wrap bursting with flavors and textures.

First you need the rice wrappers or skins.
Find them in the Asian section of your market.

Then you need the stuffin's.
I'm using cooked shrimp, sliced.
Along with some soft green leaves - bibb lettuce and spinach.
And cooked sushi rice.  Sushi rice is a short grained, starchy rice that's sticky.  You want the sticky.
For sushi rice, I rinse it first, then cook it in salted water (2 parts water to 1 part rice) for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  Drain off any water that the rice didn't absorb, then sprinkle a little rice vinegar over the rice.
Next add any number of julienned vegetables - carrot, cucumber, radish, bok choy, multi-colored peppers, scallions.
You could also use bamboo shoots and/or minced water chestnuts.  Avocado and crab would work, too.
I leave it up to your tastes.
 I also have fresh herbs - basil, mint, and cilantro, all chopped.

And you need dipping sauces.  I have two.
Dipping Sauce #1
1 inch chunk of ginger
1 garlic clove
juice of one lime
2 TB sugar
2 TB rice vinegar
1 TB chili sauce (Gochujang)

Squeeze the ginger through a garlic press to get the juice and pulp.
Press the garlic.
Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Dipping Sauce #2
2 TB cider vinegar
2 TB sugar
juice of one lime
1 TB honey
1 TB toasted peanuts, crushed
2 TB finely diced cucumber
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Now let's roll.

Working with one sheet at a time, set the rice wrapper in lukewarm water for about 20-30 seconds, until just pliable.  Don't leave it in long enough for it to get too soft.  It will stick to itself, become a mess, and you'll have to toss it.

Set the wrapper on your working surface and lay down the leaves.
Then spread a nest of sushi rice along the leaves and place some shrimp slices on the rice.

Next add a few strips of the vegetables.

And sprinkle on some herbs.

Start rolling, tucking in the ends.

If you like, drizzle a bit of soy sauce over the rice.

Try to resist the urge to overfill the wrappers.

Roll up evenly and tightly.
You will get better with practice.

Keep stuffing and rolling until you run out of ingredients.

Then slice the rolls on the diagonal.

Serve with the dipping sauces.

I also had some green beans and snow peas.
I heated sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat, then put in the beans for a couple of minutes before I added in the peas.  Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt and maybe a half teaspoon of sugar and cook, tossing, until crisp tender.  The sugar helps to blacken the vegetables and give it a nice caramelization.

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