A few months ago I hired the owner of my favorite Asian store to come and do a cooking class for me and my sisters
and mother-in-law. We had a fantastic time and one of the items she taught us was this delicious Spring Roll.
I did a horrible job wrapping these spring rolls (I was is such a rush to get dinner on the table), but you get the idea!
These are fantastic for vegetarians and omnivores alike. I added shrimp to these for my meat loving husband!
Step 1 : Peanut Sauce (not just any peanut sauce, but so-ridiculously-good-peanut-sauce-you-want-to-drink-it!)
1/4 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup of Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup of Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup of plum sauce
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of agave nectar
Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Rice Noodles
Purchase any kind of rice noodle (also known as vermicelli noodles).
I highly suggest you find a local Asian store. There is one about 20 minutes from my house
and I drive their specifically for all the amazing options they have. In general the prices at
these "specialty" stores are significantly cheaper than buying Asian products at the chain
grocery stores. I thought I would find the opposite to be true and was astounded by
the prices - so cheap!
Our 'instructor' told us to remember the 3 minutes rule when cooking the noodles.
3 minutes in boiling water
3 minutes still in the same water but with the heat turned OFF
3 minutes being rinsed under cold water (while running your fingers through the noodles)
These instructions were different than the ones printed on the package, but has proven to be a fool-proof
way to cook these noodles. These are served cold on the the spring rolls.
Step 3: Chop the vegetables
While the noodles are cooking I prepare the "toppings" for the rolls.
Lettuce, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, sliced English cucumber, mint leave
and cilantro. Feel free to add as many vegetables as you like keeping in mind
you are going for a Thai flavor.
Step 4: Rice Paper
Fill a large pot with very hot water. It does not have to be boiling, but probably
as hot as you tap water will go. Gently immerse about a third of the paper in
the water and then rotate it in a clock-wise fashion until every part has gotten
wet. Set it on a plate and it will begin to soften as you put on the toppings (it
takes less than a minute).
Step 5: Prepare the rolls
Here I have shrimp, then noodles, followed by cucumber, lettuce, carrots, sprouts
and then herbs. Begin to wrap it tightly remembering to tuck in the sides halfway
though the rolling. You'll want to work a little quickly before the rice paper gets to
soft (which will still work but is just a little trickier when it gets sticky).
Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping. Delicious!