Herblay, March 15, 2016
Hello everyone. Here in Herblay, we have had six consecutive gorgeous days! And more to come!! Nothing like big blue skies and a warming sun to keep spirits high before it’s officially spring. In anticipation of my favourite season, I thought I’d share this recipe for spring rolls with you. You can make them ahead and keep them in the fridge in plastic wrap or under a damp tea towel (a clean one please) for a few hours.
If you can get fresh crab all the better but if not, use good quality canned. This being one of my ‘flexible’ recipes you can adapt the ingredients to what’s available and what suits your mood. The result should be fresh and light. It is very important to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to assemble.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
8 spring roll wrappers-have more handy in case of disaster
1/4 cup (50 grams) thin rice noodles or cellophane noodles prepared according to package directions
8 lettuce leaves – romain works well but any crunchy lettuce is fine
several branches of fresh coriander (or mint if you prefer)
8 cooked shrimp halved the long way
1 cup (200 grams) fresh or canned crab (don’t bother with the cheap stuff). You could also use chicken, or lots of shrimp or leave out animal protein all together-still delish!
1 generous handful bean sprouts
Choose at least two of the following: adjust quantities if using more than two.
1/2 cup (100 grams) carrot
2 mini cucumbers or half an English cucumber-remove seeds with a spoon
1/2 cup (100 grams) celery
1/2 cup (100 grams) spring onions
Above vegetables should be in fine julienne.
1 tbsp soy sauce-I think a light soy works better for this
4 tbsp nuoc mam
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chili ginger sauce – if you don’t have this grate in a little ginger and add some chili flakes
1/4 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove finely minced or puréed with fine grater
Julienne vegetables and have everything set to go.Fill a large bowl with hand hot water. You will be making one roll at a time. Dip one spring roll wrapper in the water for just a few seconds. It will absorb the water and become a lot softer and more pliable.
On the third of the wrapper nearest you, place two shrimp halves, a coriander leaf, the lettuce leaf, crab, herbs, noodles and vegetables. The main thing in the order is to have some crunch on the outside (the lettuce) and at the centre (the vegetables). The shrimp and coriander leaf look pretty.
Now for the tricky bit. Start rolling the wrapper over the filling away from you. Try to keep the filling together so it stays round and tight in the wrapper. Near the end of the process, tuck in the ends. Keep the completed rolls under a damp tea towel while you make the others. Refrigerate.
Mix together all the ingredients except the sugar for the dipping sauce. Taste and decide if you want the sugar or not.
Happy (almost) spring!