Asian Salad Rolls with Peanut Sauce

24 10 2018

I’ve just about decided that Salad Rolls, aka Spring Rolls are as different as each preparer, just like American potato salad is different from one kitchen to another.  One recipe calls for green onions, another for soaked red onions.  Sometimes they included bean sprouts raw, another recipe called for blanched, and another doesn’t include them at all.

My recipe comes from a little bit of this, a little bit of that…  Sounds like Golda in Fiddler on the Roof, but that’s how it’s done.  Blending the flavors until there’s a harmonious blend of sweet, salty, spicy and sour.  I know when I’m really close because the flavors become indescribable.

Asian Salad Rolls

2 bundles bean threads, soaked, then cooked until transparent – rinse
6 shrimp, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
2 slices red onion, soaked in ice water for 2 hours then chopped
2 green onions, finely sliced up to green leaves
6 inch round rice wrappers

Mix your dipping sauces and set aside.  I made the peanut sauce, sweet chili sauce, and nuoc cham…a simple Vietnamese sauce of lime, fish sauce, water, sugar, garlic and garnished with a few slices of Thai Bird Chiles.

I cooked my shrimp in a hot skillet while they were still in the shell.  There’s more flavor and the shell helps keep the shrimp from over cooking.  When they were done, off to an ice water bath.  I set the pan aside with the shrimp browned bits for cooking the bean threads.  Bean threads need to soak in hot water for up to 30 minutes, then cook them quickly in just a bit of water until they are translucent.  Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the noodles so you can handle them.  Using kitchen shears, cut the threads to 2 inch lengths.  It makes it a lot easier to fill the rolls.  Toss in all the rest of the vegetation, mix and prepare to fill your rice paper wraps.

Rice paper wraps can be tricky, but if you watch out for a few key things you should be ok.  The rice wraps need to be dipped completely in shallow water as hot as you can stand.  They need to soak just a few seconds, then transferred to a damp towel before they start to give up their shape.  They’ll continue to become pliable.  For 6 inch round rice papers, you’ll need about 3 Tbsp. of the shrimp-bean thread mixture placed at home plate.  Roll away from you to 2nd base, but stop at the pitcher’s mound.  Fold 1st base in…fold 3rd base in, then roll the whole thing from pitcher’s mound out to center field.  I put just a tiny bit of oil on my plate, and load up the plate with little rice paper “burritos”.  I had 12 rolls from what I put together.  It would have been nice to have these with a small bowl of soup…  We’ll see…when I learn how to make decent sized portions!

ACF Peanut Sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 T. lime juice
2 T. soy sauce (I used Green Mountain)
1 T. garlic chili sauce, such as Sriracha or sambal oelek (I used a little of both)
2 t. fish sauce
2 t. honey (I used palm sugar)

This recipe comes from the American Culinary Federation.
It’s a keeper.  Not sweet, not hot…not too spicy.