Are you ready for something lighter after the feast that may or may not have occurred over Thanksgiving?
Maybe something that’s light, crisp and a little spicy?
Or… maybe you decided to plan a party and need something more to serve than pigs in a blanket?
I have a solution. But first let’s chat…
I have been at a loss for writing and words recently. Even right now, I am at a loss for clever and witty remarks, and my cheesy jokes have been gone like stale crackers on New Years Day…
I suppose my mind has not been in the food realm, because I recently started a venture contributing writing for my church’s children’s ministry program. So… my creative juices have been basting a different sort of bird recently. Instead of dreaming up spring roll fillings and cupcake flavors, I have been dreaming up creative ways to lead little minds. I have been thinking more like an 8 year old and I have officially regressed 30 years.
I can still drive and pay bills.
But I can also eat cookie dough for breakfast. ( not that I have done that recently….)
I am in the process of balancing my two “lives” which really aren’t separate at all. I’m transparent here as well as there- but sometimes I’d rather not cook and I just want to grab my notebook and brain
Because eternity matters.
Something to think about… or chew on. 😉
Back to spring rolls:
This was my first attempt at these and with no formal training in any sort of noodle wrapping, here are my “American girl attempting Asian food” tips I learned in the process:
These are really simple to make, not to mention crazy cheap because you can use whatever fillings you have on hand, for instance:
- shredded cabbage,carrots, bean thread noodles, red peppers
- cooked turkey or chicken, bok choy, scallions, bean sprouts
- shrimp, cabbage, bean sprouts, cilantro
- carrots, peppers, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, baby corn
Basically, any food combinations you like… but aim for texture and flavor because the rolls themselves are bland. And, color works wonders, because they are slightly transparent. Like little food cocoons. Yum.
For seasoning, I go for the classic Asian flavors of sesame, ginger, miso, onoin, garlic and hot pepper/mustard
The filling can either be raw or cooked, depending on what you’re using. I lightly sauteed my cabbage, just enough to wilt it, but left it slightly crisp. The wrappers are edible after simple soaking (don’t soak more than 15-20 seconds) and steaming is only necessary if you want to serve them warm. ( I like them cold)
If you decide to steam them, try to use a bamboo steamer, like this:
That’s how I get most of my stuff. Except underwear, personal hygiene products, and pillows.
Because there are certain things you just don’t want “pre-owned”.
If you decide to steam them, a few tips: don’t steam for more than 3-4 minutes. Don’t allow the rolls to touch each other, and place a thin layer of neutral cooking oil to prevent sticking. And whatever you do, don’t over fill these babies. They will look ugly. You want pretty rolls, right?
- 1 package spring roll wrappers (I used ones in the dry goods section of the Asian market, made with tapioca and rice starch)
- fillings of your choice: go for an assortment of colorful vegetables
- meat (optional) cooked chicken breast or turkey, shrimp or mild fish)
- Dipping sauces: soy, tamari, plum, duck, etc
- Prepare filling:
- Depending on vegetables used, lightly blanch or saute
- Season to taste: try soy sauce, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp sugar, splash hot sauce
- Place one wrapper in a tray of warm water to soak
- Once it is pliable after 10-15 seconds take out and place on a cutting board in a diamond shape
- Arrange a small amount of filling on the center
- Fold in the corners, then the bottom corner as illustrated in post
- Roll up
- In desired place rolls in a steamer and steam lightly for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold with dipping sauces.