Jan 22, 2009

Spring Rolls... MY Way.

Spring Rolls?? you ask.
Yep. Spring Rolls.
I love spring rolls.But, lets face it. Living out in the boonies, there are no spring rolls. If it isn't covered in BBQ sauce, Cream Gravy, Beer batter, or catchup, you ain't gonna find it.
Unless... You make it yourself.

The problem is.
I've never made spring rolls.
I mean, I've only been somewhere I could order them twice in my adult life!

So I set out to find the ingredients I needed to make my spring rolls.
I went to the three stores within 30 minutes of the farm.
I was able to find everything I needed EXCEPT the rice paper that makes a spring roll a spring roll!
I searched online and found out that the shipping on rice paper spring roll wrappers would end up costing me more than the wrappers themselves! grrrr

Luckily my Mother and my sister live in Houston.
Houston has Asian markets.
For Christmas they brought me a big supply of spring roll wrappers! yippee!

Today was the day I dove in and made spring rolls.

Let's make some spring rolls!
I gathered my Shrimp, Avocado, Rice noodles, Carrots, Spinach, Chives, and Cilantro.
And cut them to the appropriate sizes. (small and slender)
I found the rice noodles at my local grocery store. So the directions were clear. Soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes and let them soften. Easy.

Then came the rice paper wrappers....
You know.. the ones that Mom and Sis bought me at the Asian market?
Ummm did you know that rice paper wrappers bought at an Asian market do not have directions on the package in English?? oops!

So, I treated them just like I did the rice noodles and stuck them in a bowl of warm water.
After about 5 minutes, I checked them...
They were total mush!!! uh oh!

I tried again, and found out they only have to sit in the warm water for about 10 seconds!
Then they are super soft and stretchy and rippable.
I went through several before I got my first spring roll wrapped.

I laid the softened wrapper onto the table,
On one side I stacked some baby spinach leaves, carrot shreds, avocado slices, then topped the stack with some rice noodles.
Then in the center of the wrapper, I laid three cilantro leaves, and three sliced shrimp.

I folded the sides in towards the center, making sure they overlapped and stuck to each other.
I started wrapping the roll over the spinach stack and continued to tightly roll it over the shrimp stack, and stuck in a few chives as I went.

One thing I learned was that the wrapper sticks to itself, and this helps keep it together as you roll.
I ate them with Soy Sauce and Peanut Sauce. Yum!
I think they turned out great for my first attempt!
I had a wonderful lunch.
Step out of your comfort zone.
Make something that you have never made before!
It's fun and you may just surprise yourself!

We'll see what the kids think of them tonight.

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11 amazing comments. Talk To Me!!:

Bethany said...

Not too shabby! But you're still weird for putting in avocado.

- your spoiled rotten, "city girl", little sister

Wanda said...

I've never heard of avocado in spring rolls either but I don't guess there is a "right" or "wrong" way for doing them. They looked beautiful.
Glad you enjoyed your lunch!

Dana (the Homesteading Housewife) said...

well.... they put it in California rolls... why not spring/summer rolls???

anajz @ the sustainable backyard said...

I love avocado, so adding to anything is a great idea in my book. Your culinary prowess is only exceeded by your photographic abilities. You should be shooting food for magazines!

Anonymous said...

They look delilsh and Im totally trying it now. I see the papers in the store all the time and think about it but chicken out. And the Avocado- Ive never ordered them and they not have avocado. Its the cilantro I found odd. You usually find that in mexican foods. Ill bet it was wonderful.

looney said...

Add some grilled onions...and basil...and oh man, it is amazing...avocado in California rolls? Because 1) sushi is Korean/Japanese 2)California rolls are American and 3)Spring rolls are Thai and Vietnamese. Usually the ingredients are carrots, cukes, rice noodles, cilantro, shrimp or tofu, cabbage, lettuce...but I've gotten them with the onions grilled and basil added, and it is so so so good.

sticky said...

I just made some last week and they were wonderful! (I posted too!) I think, like any food you make yourself, you can add whatever you want...I always throw in whatever is fresh and tasty in the veggie drawer.
Did you make sauce?

Metagirrl said...

Yummy! Here's a trick for ya, Dana. Don't soak the wrappers at all... just run them under the tap for a couple of seconds. Stop when you think they're not quite wet enough, and they'll soften more and be perfect!

Now I know what I'm making for dinner!

Sab said...

Ooh, those sound divine! And they look it too!

April said...

those look fantastic! i love summer rolls, but uh, the wrapping SUCKS.

bevvbevv said...

I just found this (you know, way after the posting) on foodgawker. I, a native Texan and fellow Asian food enthusiast, second the use of avocado in spring rolls:-).

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