Today's post ((from the OSJ archives, originally posted here)) is a yummmmmy recipe that is one of my favorites. It's light & fresh, filling, and fun to make. When I added these to my meal plan for the week, I forgot to buy meat, thus the vegetarian recipe. However, if you want to buy some beef (*marinade recipe at the bottom) and add it, it's deeeelicious. Shrimp would be mighty tasty too.
This is what the packaging looks like for the rice noodles & spring roll wrappers. Go to a local Asian market and pay less than four bucks for both.
1. Wash & cut veggies.
2. Place rice noodles (try not to break them) in a large bowl & pour boiling water over them until they are submerged, giving them a stir every now and then until cooked. This should take less than 5 minutes. Drain and then run cool water over them and drain again. This stops the cooking process so they don't get all mushy.
TIP: toss the noodles in some sesame oil to keep them from being TOO sticky.
3. Marinade and cook meat, if desired.
Take one wrapper and spin around in bowl of warm water. Make sure you've fully saturated it. Place on plate. As you fill your spring roll, the rice paper will continue to get softer.
Start with the noodles and place a small handful on the right hand side of the wrapper.
Proceed with the lettuce (romaine or living lettuce works great). I ripped one piece into a few smaller pieces.
Keep filling with veggies and bean sprouts. Don't overstuff it. We're not making a chipotle burrito here, folks.
Do as I say, not as I do. This should be moved over closer to the side. At this point, this is what you should have. Your paper will be clinging to the plate, but don't be alarmed. It peels right off.
Add a drizzle of sauce on top. Mine is just Kroger brand that says "spring roll dipping sauce." Super fancy, y'all.
This takes practice, so don't get discouraged. Fold in the sides a bit, and as you hold them in place, start to roll from the side that the veggies are on. You should be nudging the veggies into the roll to keep it kind of tight. Stretch the rice paper gently as you roll, so that it's nice and tight. It's magic.
Cut in half...not completely necessary...and serve with sweet chile sauce ((aka spring roll dipping sauce)). This was basically the condiment of choice when we lived overseas and was served with everything from eggs to french fries, so I've become quite partial to it.
Take that, ketchup.
It would also be delicious served with peanut sauce. I have a great recipe for that somewhere. Maybe for another post ;)
*marinade for beef (I buy several lean steaks): 1 cup water/1 cup sugar/1 cup soy sauce/ 1 tbsp sesame seed oil/ 1/2 tbsp black pepper / 6 garlic cloves, chopped / 3 green onions, sliced / 2 inches of ginger root, squeezed for juice or sliced