Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spring rolls... crunchy and delicious

For the Sex and the City dinner I wanted to make sure there was a lot of food so I started out with a fairly hearty appetizer of spring rolls. These are so easy to make, simple to eat and they look lovely on a tray. I decided to put prawns in this one but you definitely don't have to; in fact, I have made them before with tofu and with just plain veggies.

Spring rolls are very versatile and fun to make; they do require a little bit of finesse in putting them together but you'll get the hang of it!

1 pkg spring roll wrappers
Warm water
8 to 10 prawns, boiled (I'll tell you about that in a minute)
1 bunch green onion
1 english cucumber, de-seeded and sliced thin
3/4 to 1/2 cup Matchstick carrots
3/4 to 1/2 cup Bean sprouts
Small lettuce leaves (I used the red ones out of the organic girl spring mix)
About 10 to 12 basil leaves, whole

In a small pan, put prawns in salted water and boil. Note: the water does not have to be boiling. They cook really fast so keep an eye on them and don't over cook.

When they are done cooking, drain, pull their tails off (if they're on) and slice lengthwise down the middle. So you have a 'flat prawn'.

Slice your cucumber into 1 1/2 to 2 inch thin strips. Make sure you de-seed the cucumber first. Do the same slicing with your green onion, so they are in 1 1/2 to 2 inch strips.

Get all your ingredients prepped and ready then put some water in a flat pan or pie plate. Put your first spring roll wrapper in the water and let it soak. Warm water helps with the softening process.

When the wrapper is soft, transfer on to the counter which you should cover with a thin kitchen towel. At one end of the wrapper, start with the prawns. Put two next to each other, pink side down. On top of that, stack a few cucumber strips and two green onions. Then put some matchstick carrots, all going one way so they don't puncture the wrapper, then bean sprouts... all one way again.

On top of that, put one piece of basil. Note: the basil is so key! Flavor central. Then on top of the basil, but two or three small pieces of lettuce.

To wrap, fold short end over ingredients then fold both sides inward. Now carefully roll the whole thing, using up the rest of the wrapper. Be careful not to rip the wrapper, it's easy to do :)

Next step: repeat, repeat, repeat...

When I take one wrapper out of the water, I put another one in right away so it can soak while I am putting together the previous one.

For sauce:
You can buy thai chili sweet sauce or you can make it by combining red pepper flakes, agave nectar, some apple cider vinegar and oil. Mix it all together, let sit so flavors can marinate then dip away.

I put all the lovely little spring rolls on a long plate then offered the girls two dipping sauces... tamari and the sweet chili pepper dipping sauce. I also had some edamame beans out for munching.

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