So, now that school is over and there's no more worry about finals, I hope to finally get back to posting on here. I've been cooking a lot and have plenty to post about - now it's just a matter of actually doing it.
I'm working in Cincinnati for the summer, so I'm living with my parents (yay free food and rent!). It was a strange adjustment being back home at first. It's been awhile since I've actually been back. Needless to say, however, it has been wonderful! I love getting to spend time shopping and going out to lunch with my mom. She taught me everything I know about cooking.
This afternoon we went to the grocery store and bought all kinds of fresh fruits and veggies and various other items to make delicious, healthy, summer meals.
These shrimp spring rolls turned out amazing. they were crunchy and super flavorful. The key is all of the fresh herbs. They really add a ton of flavor.
SHRIMP SPRING ROLLS
Sliced red and orange pepper
Chopped Thai basil
Sliced carrots (into thin sticks)
Sliced cucumber (into thin sticks)
Sliced mango (into thin strips)
1 c. cooked white or brown rice
Cooked jumbo shrimp, sliced in half
The first step is to cut up all of the veggies and herbs. You want them to be thin so you can fit enough of each item into the spring roll without them being gigantic.
Next, take a big shallow dish (I used a pie plate) and add hot water. You'll use this to soak the rice paper in, sheet by sheet.
On a plate or cutting board, place a sheet of damp paper towel. My mom and I found that this worked best for keeping the rice paper wet enough to build the rolls. Without it, the rice paper dried up too quickly. The first few rolls we made didn't look as nice as some of the later ones - you'll get the hang of the process as you make them, and figure out how fast you need to assemble them.
Lay out your soaked rice paper, and smear a thin layer of lemongrass paste on it. I found it in a tube in the produce section of the grocery store, but if you can't find it, just forget about it - it doesn't really make or break the dish.
Next, lay out the shrimp - we did about three on each roll. Then add a little rice, and the veggies and herbs.
Finally, roll each end up first, then roll up the sides, kind of like the way you would roll up a burrito. Just be careful because the rice paper is really thin and sticky, so it is sort of difficult to do. But like I said, you'll get the hang of it.
Serve on a plate with dipping sauce of choice. We chose a spicy peanut sauce because we had some in the fridge and also, it's delicious.
The mint in these rolls made them really outstanding. At first when my mom suggested adding it in, I thought it would be gross. But it's not at all - in fact, I think it made the meal, so definitely add it in if you have it. The mango and basil were a really great addition as well. Gave them a really complex flavor. Overall these were fresh and flavorful and healthy - the perfect summer meal.
Do not place the rolls on top of each other or right next to each other. The rice paper will stick together and they will all fall apart and get stuck to one another. So make sure there is space between them.
If you have leftovers and want to store them in the fridge, wrap them individually in damp paper towel, and then wrap them up in saran wrap.
I'm Kirsten. Big time foodie, all around goofball, and freelance marketer.