These were totally a spur of the moment dish that I made this afternoon – ever since purchasing rice paper spring roll wrappers for last month’s Daring Cook’s Challenge (my Fried Apple Cheesecake Pillows), I’ve been trying to come up with what to do with the rest of these wrappers. Then, it hit me – well of course, why not use them for what they were originally intended? And so today, I decided to have a go at making spring rolls. Besides, it’s cold and wintery outside, and anything with the word “spring” in it would brighten me up and make me feel a bit warmer, even though this dish is served cold, haha. My husband and I really enjoyed this lunch – err….early supper? It was about 3 pm before we even figured out we were hungry…
Being that I didn’t really plan for this, I didn’t get a chance to go to my natural foods store to get things like mung beans, and so had to do with what I had on hand for ingredients. This means that the recipe is not authentic at all, but it may mean that it’s easier to throw together because the ingredients are easy to store. A couple of things that I do that worked well here – when I buy fresh herbs, if I’m not going to use them all, I throw them into the freezer. If they are going to go in something where they are going inside the dish (i.e. are not a garnish), frozen herbs seem to work really well. And then you don’t waste money by throwing out herbs you spent good $$ on. I had fresh cilantro on hand (because we ALWAYS have cilantro around, it gets used almost every day), but I used mint and chives from my freezer. The chives I did use as a garnish, but because they had been frozen, they were really soft green ribbons that made it quite manageable to wrap around these rolls.
So, in summary – Money Saving Tip – Don’t toss your leftover fresh herbs – if you aren’t going to use them up in time, freeze them!
As far as rolling these spring rolls, I really had no idea. So I just kinda folded them like a burrito. However, it seemed to work. If anyone can point me in the direction of a site with good directions on how to roll spring rolls, I’d really like to know!
Ingredients (for about 24 spring rolls):
For Cooking the Shrimp –
2 tbs. canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 lb. of small shrimp, completely peeled and deveined.
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt/pepper to taste
For the Spring Rolls –
rice paper spring roll wrappers (about 4″ diameter)
medium bowl full of water
2 c. carrots, grated
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 bunch fresh mint
1/2 c. or so cilantro, chopped
1 bunch chives
For the Spicy Peanut Sauce –
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbs. rice vinegar
1/2 c. tamari
1-2 tbs. sirachia chili sauce (really however much or little you want)
1/2 c. peanut butter
juice of one lime
2 tbs. sesame oil
1. Heat up a medium pan with the canola oil, and add in garlic and cilantro. Once hot, add in the shrimp and squeeze lime juice over the shrimp. Add red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes until shrimp are cooked. Remove shrimp from pan, set aside.
2. To assemble the spring rolls, dip spring roll wrapper in a bowl of water, and lay down on your work surface. Place 4 shrimp (or however many fit depending on their size) down in a row, and the line up the grated carrots next to them. Add one mint leaf on top of the shrimp, a pinch of the chopped cilantro, and then lastly rip off a piece of red lettuce and place on top.
3. To fold, I folded them “burrito style” – i.e.fold in the top and bottom of the roll, and then fold over one side, and roll tightly towards the other. The wrapper will stick to itself well and hold everything together.
4. In a small sauce bowl, mix together the ingredients for the peanut sauce. These measurements do not have to be exact, feel free to “tweak” to get to exactly how you like. The sauce should not end up too runny.
5. Serve spring rolls on a plate with dipping sauce, enjoy!