Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spring Rolls

As the seasons change, cravings change. The comfort food that sounded good just two months ago now sounds, well, uncomfortable. When I walk in the door on a week like this, all I crave is cold, fresh salads with lots of veggies and fruit. Grilled meat and summer salads are always summer classics, but I encourage you to branch out and try something new this season. These simple spring rolls are not only easy to make, but are the perfect ending to a hot July day. If you grow your own lettuce and herbs like we do, this is also a great way to share (show off) all of those homegrown goodies with your family and friends. Enjoy!

Spring roll skins (Bahn)
Rice sticks
Crisp lettuce (green leaf or romaine are best)
Fresh mint
Fresh basil
Fresh cilantro
Shredded carrots
Butterfly pork chops (optional)
Teriyaki marinade (optional)
Hoisin sauce
Peanut butter

The first two ingredients on the list can definitely be found at your local Asian market if you can't find them in your grocery store. If you are opting for vegetarian spring rolls, then skip this first step.

Thinly slice your pork chops and pan fry with a bit of salt and pepper. Once cooked through and no longer pink, add some teriyaki sauce or marinade and toss to coat. Set aside to cool.

Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Add the rice sticks as you would pasta and cook for just a couple of minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

Take a spring roll skin and soak it in hot water until soft (about a minute). Lay the skin on a large plate.

Now for the fun part. Simply layer these ingredients in whatever order you prefer. I usually start with the rice sticks and follow with the lettuce, carrots and herbs. Top with the pork then fold in both ends of the skin and roll like a burrito. The skin will stick to itself. It's much easier to roll tightly when you don't overload the skin with ingredients.
Hoisin Dipping Sauce
Put a few spoonfuls of hoisin sauce in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a teaspoon of water then microwave until almost boiling. In our weakling microwave circa 1945, this takes about a minute. But for those of you with a fancy microwave from this century, 30 seconds should do the trick. Once hot, remove from the microwave and add one spoonful of creamy peanut butter and stir until incorporated. The warm hoisin will melt the peanut butter down and create the most amazing dipping sauce you could imagine. I must admit that I always find myself eating this sauce with a spoon if there is a bit left over.

This recipe is adapted from Tien Tran's famous spring rolls she always made in college!

1 comment:

  1. You are so funny, Erin!
    I am so with you on only craving fruits and veggies in the warm weather!
    These look awesome! Thanks!! :)