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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday Recipe - Fresh Rolls

Not to be confused with rolls fresh from the oven, these are cold appetizers served in Thai restaurants. They are similar to egg rolls, except instead of being fried, they are served uncooked. The filling is mostly shredded salad with a bit of cold cooked meat. Feel free to mix these up by adding your favorites. I've given a few options but there are no rules, except make what you enjoy eating.

The wrappers on these are rice wrappers, so if you're GF, these are perfect. I enjoy them because I like to eat with my fingers and salad is usually not finger food. They also taste good. Look for the rice wrappers in the Asian section of your local grocery store, or at your local Asian market if you're lucky enough to have one nearby. They are sometimes labeled "Vietnamese Spring Roll Wrappers." They are round flat things that look like a cross between stiff plastic and wimpy manhole covers.

Serve these with some warm Peanut Sauce for dipping.

Fresh Rolls

12 rice wrappers
Cold water for soaking
4 c. shredded lettuce (I prefer red leaf or romaine for this)
1 c. cooked rice OR 1 c. cooked thin rice noodles
1 c. cooked crab or krab or cooked shrimp (peeled and de-tailed)
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1/4 c. green onion, chopped
Fresh Thai basil leaves, optional

Put cold water in a shallow dish, like a plate with a high side or a large pie pan. You don't need it deep but you do want it big enough to cover a whole rice wrapper at one time.

Put one rice wrapper into the water, get one side completely wet, then carefully flip it over. Let it soak for about a minute until it starts to soften. Carefully remove it from the water. It is delicate and will tear easily, but you can always just patch up the holes. Lay the wrapper on the counter or a plate.

Place 1/3 c. lettuce on the wrapper in a log about halfway down. Add a couple tablespoons of rice/rice noodles next to the lettuce. Add in a few chunks of crab. Add a pinch or two of carrots and green onions along the side. Add a few fresh basil leaves if desired.

Now carefully fold up the bottom 1/4 over the fillings. Kind of squoosh the filling tightly together. Fold the sides over to make an envelope. Roll it up into a log shape. This is very similar to making a burrito if you've ever folded one of those together.

Place the finished spring roll on a plate and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and fillings. Keep them in a single layer on the plate or use multiple plates if needed. The rice wrappers will stick to each other. Refrigerate for an hour or two or serve immediately with plenty of peanut sauce.

If you want to reserve them for later that day or the next day, they really don't keep longer than that, wrap each individual roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

This video shows how to roll them up: