Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sharing my latest addiction with the world.....

Those that know me well or are connected to me on Facebook, probably already know that I fell in love with Thai Spring Rolls. Oh, yes I did! I fell head over heels in love....

I discovered them at a local restaurant over a year ago. They are refreshing and grease free because they are rolled in rice wrappers and served cold. The only thing cooked in them is the shrimp. They are served with peanut sauce for dipping. The best thing is when I discovered I can't have gluten or dairy, these things still made the cut!!

Well, they are $5 for I don't get them as often as I want....esp. since someone else here likes them, so it always costs me $10 and then the other shorter someone says "Oh, I need the orange chicken because I don't like the rolls and you guys are going to eat in front of me and I just LOVE the orange chicken and I think I'll die without it and besides there is NOTHING at all here to eat...." <---she can say that in one breath!! Yea, good thing we only do this when the tallest someone is at work or I'd NEVER be able to afford them!!

About a month ago, I decided they are simple enough that I should just make them at home. Since I am eating gluten and dairy free, I've been craving these bad boys! So, we bought another round of research purposes. Yep, they still looked as simple as they did the last time I got them. Off to the store, I went. I couldn't find the rice wrappers and our local oriental market shut down. However, son #2 works with the guys that make sushi at the seafood dept in Giant and they hooked me up. :)

I am in no way an expert on making these and still need to figure out exactly how to get them rolled a little tighter, but they do the job of holding my peanut sauce. Oh...and that brings me to another sticky point. I can't give you a recipe for a great peanut sauce, because I am still searching. I made one that inadvertently included wheat and gave me a roaring headache. ALL labels if you have a food intolerance. sigh.... I made another that was good...but not quite "it". I bought two different was OK and the other was yucky(and I discovered ALSO had wheat). Why didn't I listen to my own reminder??? The past week I've made it twice and have been pleased with it. I can't tell you amounts, yet. I can tell you the ingredients, though. Oh...and I'm not being "stuck up" and not sharing the amounts with you until I get it "perfect!". Nope, I can't tell you the amounts because I have no clue. It's one of those "pour a little of this, sprinkle some of this, shake a little of that, and spoon a couple of these" deals. Sorry...

Some have asked me to share more on how to make these spring rolls....and I will do that. And I will tell you, this is just to be an "idea" kind of recipe. No need to follow exactly and it will be probably much better if you don't!

These are the rice noodles I picked up last time. You don't have to get these kind. Feel free to experiment, I know I will. They come dried and need to be soaked in some hot water. Then drain, rinse with cold water and I squeeze them dry. (not like a sponge...but just squeeze a bit of the water out or you'll have a big dripping mess)

Here are some cucumbers cut into little strips, some shrimp that I halved because they were kind of fat, the rice noodles and baby spinach. Usually I use Romaine leaves, but I was out and had a craving. I figure baby spinach is good for you and would fill in nicely. (it did!) You can also cut carrots into little matchsticks and use them. I have....but I was too hungry today. Some recipes call for adding some leaves of sweet basil, mint and cilantro.
I keep it simple.

Here is the rice paper I got.

The sheets are flexible, but still hold their shape until.... put them in warm water. You have to swish it around in the water and go by feel. You want to do one at a time and finish making your roll before you put another one in water. They soften up pretty quickly.

Lay your wrapper out and put some shrimp and cucumbers on it.

Add your greens and some rice noodles. (basically add whatever you are going to put in the roll)
Pull the wrapper (closest to the bottom of the picture) up and over the stuffing. Give it one roll and then tuck the ends in like when you make a burrito. Finish rolling and you should have something that looks like this...

Don't worry if you don't. I've eaten a few mistakes myself. Just plop them in a bowl and add some peanut sauce. It will be fine and no one has to know!!

The wrappers do break and get holes....they are thin skinned. Notice the little baby spinach stem that poked right through!

Here is the peanut sauce I just made. I poured it into my empty peanut butter jar for storing in the fridge. Pretty clever, huh?

As far as the sauce goes, I told you I would tell you what is in it. So, here you go....coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, hot pepper flakes, ginger and peanut butter. There are recipes that call for other ingredients...but that is where I get in trouble with the wheat. So, I'm sticking with ingredients that I know I can have.

So, while it is not an exact recipe or "how to" post, it does give you an idea of a yummy lunch to make. Don't be afraid to play around with it and come up with your own combinations. You don't like shrimp? Skip it! You love lime? Drizzle a little on your shrimp or veggies.

Have fun and eat up!


Beverly said...

Yum-O!!! Thanks for sharing - I'm hungry now! lol

Dawn said...


And looking at your thingamajob on the right of your looks like I'm stalking you! ;) xoxo

StephF said...

DH is allergic to seafood. Have you tried chicken or some other meat besides shrimp?