Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Asian Inspired Week: Night 1

I planned the menu for this week, four nights of Asian Inspired healthy food. Of the four planned Recipes, I have made 3 of them repeatedly. I tried the 1 new recipe tonight. It is Ellie Kreiger’s Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce from her Food You Crave cookbook. This is a really fantastic cookbook for anyone looking for healthy and really delicious recipes, I have enjoyed many of them. So this recipe has good news and bad news. The good news is that spring rolls are easier to make then they sound. Really easy actually. The bad news is that I enjoyed the first one, but was overall disappointed. They definitely don’t compete with Saigon or #1 Pho’s spring rolls.

Here is the recipe in case you are interested. I think the problem is something to do with the basil and mint overpowering the rest of the roll. And the dipping sauce is really good, but really spicy with a full teaspoon of Sriracha. I think it would make a nice salad dressing. Don’t worry, I know the next three nights will be better.
For the summer rolls :
2 ounces Vietnamese or Thai rice noodles
6 rice paper rounds
1/4 cup, or 12 fresh Thai basil leaves (or regular basil leaves), rinsed and dried
6 medium shrimp , cooked and halved
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup, or 12 whole large fresh mint leaves, rinsed and dried
3 red-leaf lettuce leaves, leaves, spines removed, leaving 6 halves
Vinegar dipping sauce, recipe follows

Bring water to a boil and cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and cool (makes about 2 cups).

Line up ingredients in small bowls before beginning to make rolls. Fill a large bowl or saucepan with very warm water. Place a rice paper round in the hot water. Soak for between 30 seconds and 1 minute, or until rice round is pliable and pattern on the round is barely visible. Remove and place on a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel.

Place 2 basil leaves on the inner edge of the rice round, about 1-inch from the edge and leaving about 1-inch on each side. Top with approximately 1/4 cup cooked rice noodles. Place 2 shrimp halves on top. Top with about 2 tablespoons carrots, then 2 leaves of mint. Fold 1 piece of lettuce leaf and place on top of pile. Bring the edge over filling and tuck underneath. As you continue to roll, fold in the sides. Finish rolling, repeat with the other rolls, and reserve under a damp cloth or paper towel. When ready to serve, slice in half and serve, cut ends up, with dipping sauce.
Vinegar Dipping Sauce:
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons warm water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili sauce (recommended: Sriracha)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely shredded carrot
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Dissolve sugar in warm water, combine with other ingredients, and chill until ready to use.


martha said...

I think the problem is something to do with eating all of the rolls in one sitting ;)

While we're on the topic of overindulgence, I had a mushroom extravaganza tonight with two AMAZING recipes from the cookbook, "Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without." It's the same lady who wrote the Moosewood cookbooks. Yum!

Joelle said...

I made these once (a long time ago). I would definitely go sparingly on the basil and the mint, and maybe chop it up. I like to use chopped up iceberg lettuce b/c it adds some crunch (and that's how the Vietnamese restaurant where I used to go served them) and to serve them with peanut dipping sauce...yum, I haven't had these for a while and am now craving them!!!

J.Nine said...

Hey Molly. Joelle told me about your food blog and I am so excited to try your recipes out...they look awesome!!!

Molls said...

Thanks for the tips Joelle! I love these rolls at my favorite local vietnamese place, so I want to fix the recipe and try again.

J.nine, I checked out your blog as well!