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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Asian Rice Rolls

Recently a few of my friends have been getting together to host a dinner party, each taking our turn as hostess. Typically we do a theme night in which the host determines the theme and recipes she is going to make. The other women bring the wine and the dessert and help prepare the meal at the direction of the hostess. There is usually so much food that we each get to take some home for leftovers. It is a great way to learn new recipes, cooking methods and most importantly to get to chat with one another.

One of my friends, who recently lived in China and traveled the South Pacific, invited us over for some traditional Asian dishes. We had a delicious rice rolls/warps, coconut curry chicken and for dessert the famous banana cheesecake (not mine, but my friends).

I had ordered rice rolls a few times in restaurants and had them made by other hostesses', but none compared to these. The ingredients she used were so flavorful and fresh. Although unable to perfect the roll yet, I have made these a few times since. The following ingredients are my preference, but can be altered.
1 package rice paper wraps
warm water (use tap)
1/2 lbs large shrimp, cooked (cold or hot) - or tofu
1/2 cup cilantro
1 mango, sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced
romain lettuce
rice vermicelli, cooked
Can also use bean sprouts, snow peas, pickled ginger, red pepper or carrots.

Serve with peanut sauce or red chili sauce.

If using uncooked shrimp, prepare it by removing tails and then cooking in a non stick skillet over med heat until they turn pink. Remove and rinse with cold water. Can also use precooked shrimp.

Cut up the ingredients and set aside in piles. To cook the vermicelli, boil a pot of water. Once boil add the rice noodles and remove from heat. Let sit for about 5-8min until noodles are soft. Rinse under cold water.

Now to make the rice paper wraps, you start by taking a rice paper wrap and running each side briefly under warm water. The wraps will initially still feel hard, but they will get softer after removed from water. DO NOT OVER WET or they will break apart.

Place the damp/wet rice wrap on a plate. In the center of the wrap place the rice noodles, followed by layering the ingredients of your choice. I like to use the rice noodles, 2-3 shrimp, lettuce, mango, avocado, , cucumber and cilantro.

Wrapping the Roll: First fold up the bottom of the wrap to cover the ingredients. Then pull in the sides and roll in over each other tightly, careful not to tear the wrap. You can then either fold the top of the wrap downward or leave open to expose the ingredients. If folding in the top, you can also cut the roll in half to serve (roll needs to be tightly wrapped for this

Serve with peanut sauce.

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1 comment:

Forts said...

Although a little hard to get use to the wrap part these were awesome. Fresh, tasty and healthy definitely a new regular in our meal rotation. Loved them. Great pics too Parker.

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