Monday, June 20, 2011

Meatless Monday - Asian Salad Rolls

Chris wanted spring rolls for his Father's Day dinner and I happily obliged. I love to make these in the summer and in the past I've always made them all assembly line style and then served them. Recently we started putting all the ingredients on the table to make them together and it's much more fun. Chris requested grilled shrimp last night and they were wonderful, but today we had a vegetarian version for lunch and enjoyed them just as much.

Chris using Thai Peanut Sauce and San-J Szechuan on the one. Yum!

The table is chaotic, messy and fun. Marc is dipping his wrapper.

It's kind of like sitting down for fondue in that everyone is making their own meal and eating as they go.  You choose the fillings and the sauces you like so everyone is happy with their creation.  Your gluten free friends won't have any idea they're eating "gluten free".  On warm summer nights when you just don't want something hot or heavy these are the perfect thing.

You don't even need a recipe because it really is simple - just follow a few easy steps. As you prepare each step, just set it on the table.

First I prepare the veggies.  The easiest way is to use this tool.  You'll have nice long uniform shreds of carrot and cucumber if you do.  The first year I made them I didn't have one and just cut the veggies by hand so don't stress it if you don't happen to have one.  This time I used only carrots and cucumbers but you can sliver bell peppers, onions, radishes or anything you like.

Pick some herbs and wash a few leaves.  Basil, mint and cilantro make a great combination.

You'll need need one package of these rice noodles.  Rice sticks are very thin rice noodles which can be soaked rather than boiled.  Empty the package into a heat proof bowl and pour nearly boiling water over them.  They need to soak for about 10 minute.  Drain and use kitchen scissors to cut into sections about three inches.

Next step - your sauces - there are many ready made sauces that we usually have in our fridge.  These make them great for busy weekday nights.  Gluten free soy sauce, Trader Joe's sweet chili sauce and San-J Szechuan sauce are our favorites.  The peanut sauce is homemade and not typically used in salad rolls but it's a big hit here.

You'll need rice paper wrappers like this.  I buy mine at the Asian market and you'll find you will get about three times as many wrappers for your money by shopping there.  They are a little delicate and messy so it's nice to have plenty to practice on.

I use a ceramic pie plate filled with hot water to soak our wrappers.  Each person just slides a wrapper into the water and waits for them to become translucent which takes about a minute.

At this point each person just takes turns soaking a wrapper and filling their own spring roll. This one has rice noodles, veggies, herbs and sauce.  As you fold them up into little bundles the wrappers will stick to itself and make a nice little bundle.

We find that a lot of that yummy sauce drips on to our plates and now enjoy these with a bowl of rice.  Any sauce or filing that falls goes right into the rice and makes it so good.  This bowl had lots of fresh herbs and edamame on the side.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!


gab said...

oh my gosh, these look AMAZING.
sooooooooooooooooo good.
now i want these. right now!

chacha said...

Asian Salad Rolls at 4:30 a.m.????
I love them a lot but not before coffee!!!
Think we could talk Mikey into these???

Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe how easy it was to find the rice sticks and paper wrappers at the grocery store today, and they were a good price. Looking forward to giving them a try!

chacha said...

Great! Can't wait to hear how you like them.