Saturday, April 13, 2019

Rosie Makes Shrimp Spring Rolls.

Welcome to one of my favorite meals - shrimp spring rolls.
Simple.  Light.  Colorful.  Full of flavors and textures.

They're fun to make and each time I make them,
they're a little different.  Just depends on what's in the fridge.

Preparation is key.
Have everything ready to roll.
Today, I'm using bamboo green rice which I get at the Spice and Tea Exchange in the Scarborough Lane Shoppes in Duck. 
You can use sushi rice, but I like the green.  It's pretty.
It's a short grain white rice infused with fresh bamboo juice
which turns it green and it stays sticky after cooking, which is what you want for sushi.
Whatever rice you're using, prepare it according to package directions, drain it, then sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sushi vinegar or rice vinegar over it, and fork it around to mix well.

Slice the shrimp.
And prepare the vegetables. I julienned stacks of carrot, cucumber, scallion, and multi-colored peppers.  Then I chiffonaded some herbs - basil and mint - and chopped some cilantro.
A julienne cut is a very thin, matchstick cut.
A chiffonade cut is a cutting technique in which you stack the leaves, roll them up tightly, then slice
long curly uniform strips.  A chiffonade is pretty and, dare I say, elegant.
Also, have some soft lettuce leaves - Boston or Bibb - ready to use, with the ribs cut out.  Spinach works also.

Your ingredients are not etched in stone.  If you have bok choy, asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini, cabbage, radish, you could certainly use them.  And if you happen to have a jar of pickled ginger in the fridge, try some.  Bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts - any type of sprouts.  Also, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots will work nicely.

One caveat - do not overstuff your rolls.  Too fat and they get hard to work with and a bit sloppy.  You don't want them more than an inch in diameter. 

Rice paper can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket.


Here's what it looks like.

I take a plate, pour warm water in it, then set the rice paper in the water for about 20 seconds.
You want to soften it so it's pliable.  Don't leave it in the water too long.  It will stick to itself, sort of dissolve, and you'll end up throwing it out.

When the rice paper is ready, spread it out on your work surface and start adding your fillings.

I put the lettuce down first, next a bed of rice, then the shrimpies.
If you want to put a few drops of soy sauce on the rice, I won't stop you.

Lay down the strips of vegetables and the herbs.

And roll, tucking in the ends.

Ta da!

Keep rolling until you use everything up.

Now, for the dipping sauces.
I'll give you the ingredients and the "thereabouts"
and let you figger it out and tailor it to your tastes.

Dipping Sauce #1
juice from 2 1-inch cubes ginger
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 TB soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 TB mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
sliced scallions
toasted sesame seeds

I put the ginger cube in a garlic press and press it, scraping a bit of the pulp off to use in addition to the juice.  And FYI, if your ginger cubes are first frozen, then nuked for about 25 seconds, you can get more juice out of them.

Combine all ingredients and taste-test.  Adjust accordingly.  If you want more or less of a certain flavor, go for it.

Dipping Sauce #2
4 TB cider vinegar
2 TB honey
diced cucumber
chopped red onion
toasted peanuts, chopped
sprinkling of red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients and taste-test.

For serving, I like to slice my rolls on the diagonal.


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