Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fresh Spring Rolls

Dear Friends... And Strangers I don't know but who read my blog anyway (Hi!),

This week I tackled fresh spring rolls at home. I made them a little on the large size, but that's ok, it was still very easy to eat them.
I prepared two dipping sauces and surprisingly, they turned out perfectly, even though I tweaked the second one to avoid a meltdown over me forgetting to buy dry roasted peanuts... Oh yeah, that's right, I used SUPER crunchy peanut butter instead. Word.

Presenting: Fresh Spring Rolls with Prawns and two dipping sauces: Vietnamese Chilli and Garlic Sauce and Thai Sweet Chilli and Peanut Sauce

Makes ~15 large or 25 small fresh spring rolls

100g rice vermicelli
4 spring onions, sliced into 10cm strips
1/2 red pepper (capsicum), finely sliced into 10cm strips
1 cucumber, finely sliced into 10cm strips
50g bean sprouts, washed and spun dry
Iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and torn
10 fresh, rinsed sprigs of coriander
25-30 fresh prawns
1 packet of rice paper

Cook the prawns in salted water, once cooked, drain and peel. Halve the prawns by slicing down the centre and remove the 'poo tube'. This part is icky but the results will be worth it! Do not rinse the prawns again under water as they will lose their salty flavour. It is best to dip your fingers into a bowl of clean water if your fingers get too sticky. Cover prawns and refrigerate until ready to assemble your spring rolls.

Pour enough boiling water over the rice vermicelli to cover it and set aside to cook for 15 minutes whilst you prepare your vegetables. Do not over cook the noodles, once ready, rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Slice your vegetables and arrange all the ingredients on your table. Now you're ready to roll!

Dip (not soak) the first rice paper roll into warm water for about 10-15 seconds, covering completely with water, lift from the water and quickly wipe off excess water with your fingers (you can dab with paper towel if you like).

Tip: When wetting rice paper, ensure the paper is completely wet, but still quite rigid when you remove it from the water. Do not soak the paper as it will continue to soften after you have removed it from the water. Soaking the paper until soft is a big NO-NO! It will make rolling your spring rolls a nightmare.

Place the fairly rigid wet rice paper onto a flat chopping board and begin to layer on the side closest to your body, leaving a gap of a few centimetres from this edge. Carefully roll that edge over the ingredients, then fold in the left and right sides (almost as if you are rolling a burrito... or a wet present ha ha).
Roll the parcel forward once until the ingredients are contained, leaving a free edge to roll. On the free flap of the rice paper next to the rolled little asian salad parcel, arrange leaves of coriander and slices of prawns with the coloured edge facing down, and a stem of decorative spring onion, then complete the roll.

Arrange the rolls on a plate, seam edge facing down and pretty side-up.

These rolls have a stained-glass window quality and look very sweet on a plate.

Possibly the best aspect of the preparation of this recipe is that the 'cooking' can be limited to boiling the water for the noodles as you can purchased pre-cooked prawns.

Simple, healthy, delicious and seriously impressive mini asian parcels. Serve with Vietnamese Chilli and Garlic Sauce and/ or Thai Sweet Chilli and Peanut Sauce. There is no set rule for what you fill your parcels with or which sauce you choose. I used prawns because they looked stunning in the fresh spring rolls, however you can use other meats, such as chicken or completely omit the meat for a delicious vegetarian or vegan snack. Gluten free too if you were wondering.

Try to stop at two, I dare you.

Bella xx

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