a girlfriend and i found ourselves walking along a street today seriously studded with asian groceries. like three on each side of every block. there must have been something in the air, because were both inspired to choose one and go on a shopping spree for everything that is so over-priced in the mainstream markets (we’re looking at you Whole Foods and corner stores). armed with bags of tea, rice paper candies and obscure sodas, we headed back home with a plan for our next meal (or snack as it ended up being).
spring rolls! very appropriate for the arrival of the new season…also amazingly simple, versatile and portable! these are coming with me for lunch tomorrow.
we scoured the web for a recipe that appealed to us the most, and then decided to create our own using the others as guidance. all of the recipes had the same basic groups of ingredients, which you can vary depending on your preferences:
rice paper wrappers
vermicelli or bean mung noodles (the kind that look almost clear when cooked)
veggies (carrots, napa cabbage, green onion, bean sprouts etc), julienned and tossed in olive oil and salt
herbs (mint, thai basil, cilantro)
soak the rice paper in warm water for 5-10 seconds until soft and then start piling on your fillings! just make sure you can fully enclose the final product or things get messy.. all of these groups (except the rice paper wraps of course) are optional, and can be disregarded all together to create the rolls of your dreams. with all of the wrappers we have left, i definitely think we’ll be doing some fusion rolls in the future.
we ate our rolls with homemade peanut sauce, but we also tried a vinaigrette of sesame oil and soy sauce. to make your own peanut sauce, mix a couple of tablespoons of chunky peanut butter with a little sugar, two teaspoons soy sauce, half a teaspoon of minced garlic, and hot sauce to taste. slowly mix in a few tablespoons of warm water until the sauce has a smooth texture.