Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
The FRESH in this recipe refers to the fact that the ingredients are all fresh rather than deep fried. I first tasted these delicious spring rolls with my special friend, Judy. I enjoyed them so tremendously that I searched until I found this recipe in the New Canadian Basics Cookbook by Carol Ferguson. These uncooked rolls, simply wrapped in rice paper and dipped in the luscious Peanut Sauce, are a fresh-tasting alternative to the deep-fried version most people are familiar with. Vary the filling according to what you have on hand and what is in season.
2 oz. rice vermicelli
1 cup chopped, cooked shrimp or chicken
Choose any four of the following ingredients, using 1/3 cup of each and shred,
sliver or chop fine:
cucumber, water chestnuts, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, radish, green onion, bean sprouts (these should be left whole)
2 tbsp. chopped mint or coriander (we prefer coriander)
About 15, 6 inch round rice paper wrappers
In a bowl, cover the vermicelli with boiling water; let stand 3 minutes or until softened. Drain well and place in large bowl. Add shrimp or chicken, finely chopped vegetables of your choice and coriander/mint.
For each spring roll, submerge rice paper wrapper, one at a time, in a bowl of warm water until flexible, about 1 minute; remove from water and pat dry on tea towel. Spoon about 3 tbsp. filling in center of each wrapper. Roll tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Rolls may be made in advance, covered with plastic and refrigerated for a few hours. Serve with Peanut Sauce for dipping.
Peanut Sauce for Spring Rolls
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp. each: brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar or lime juice
1 tbsp. each: minced garlic, minced fresh ginger, dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp. (or to taste) chile paste, hot pepper sauce or hot pepper flakes
In food processor, blend ingredients together until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to two weeks; bring to room temperature before serving.