An Easy and Healthy Dinner Option: Spring Roll

I don’t know how people eat out everyday. Do they just pick up food and eat at home or they just eat out? I must be disorganized or something because I can’t seem to find the time to go out for dinner, do all that needs to be done at the house and have the kids do homework. As a result, I find it easier to pick up things at the grocery store and prepare my dinner while the kids are studying or are doing what is expected of them.
This evening I was in the mood for spring roll. They do require a bit of patience and a bit of organization but they are quite easy to make.

There are a few rules, however, that you should follow and this will provide you with success and not frustration;-).
1. Have all the ingredients chopped and sliced in small bowls around your working place.
2. Only soak 1 rice paper sheet at a time, or it will get too wet, too soggy and will rip.
3. Lay a wet paper towel on your working area so that the rice paper will not stick to the surface of your working area.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 12 Rice paper ( you will need one per spring roll)
  •  2 oz. of Rice noodle 
  • 60 Medium sized shrimp cooked and cut in half
  • A small head of Boston lettuce
  • 1 / 2 of English cucumber cut in very thin slices.
  • 2 carrots grated in julienne
  • Fresh mint

Peanut Dipping Sauce ( yields about 1 1/2 cup)

  •  1 Tbsp. of Low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Red Curry past
  • 1/2 cup of Coarse Peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of lower salt chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp of lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 8 basil leaves minced

In a small saucepan, warm up the oil and add the curry. Cook the curry until it is starting to become fragrant. Add the peanut butter and cook until it is becoming a darker color. Then add the sugar and stir until it is caramelized. Add the coconut milk, broth, lime juice, hoisin sauce, fish sauce and mix well. Cook on medium temperature for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to half. Remove the sauce from the stove and add the basil. Et voila!

While the sauce is cooking, get ready to make the spring rolls. Pour some water in a small pot, add some salt, and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, add the rice noodles and cook for a few minutes or until they are pliable. When they are cooked, scoop them out with the colander and run some water over them so that they will not stick. Drain the water, transfer them to a bowl and set them aside. Prepare the rest of your ingredients and place them into bowls around your working area.

Whenever you are all ready. Place a soup plate near your working area, and add some lukewarm water. Also place a wet paper towel over your working area.

Place a rice paper into the plate and let it soak for a few seconds until it is soft.

Lay the rice paper onto the wet towel, and lay 6 shrimps halves.

 Cover the shrimp with one boston lettuce and fill the boston lettuce with cucumber, carrots, more shrimps, mint and rice noodles. Fold the boston lettuce onto itself ( it should not be thicker than 1 inch), fold the rice noodle onto the lettuce and roll it. Fold the sides and continue rolling and should have a tube like spring roll. Remove the spring roll from your working area, place it onto a tray that has also been covered with a wet paper towel. Repeat this process until you have used all rice paper.

Eat or devour with the sauce. YUM;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!