I had a couple hours free around lunch time the other day and thought it was the perfect opportunity to revisit the Springs Rolls I made last year. The recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated and when I made them last time it took me about 2 hours. That was way too long. So I made them again, actually twice this week and am proud to say I can now get them done in less than an hour, yay me!
1 tsp granulated sugar
1½ tbs fish sauce
Juice from one lime
1 tsp salt
3 oz vermicelli
8 oz medium shrimp, peeled with tails removed
½ cup grated carrot
1/3 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
1 medium jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
1½ cups cucumber peeled & cut into matchsticks 1/8 x 1½”
8 8” round rice paper wrappers
½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, small leaves left whole, bigger leaves torn into ½” pieces
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
Combine sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice in small bowl; set aside.
Bring 2 quarts water to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in salt and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to small bowl. Stir in rice vermicelli. Cook until noodles are tender but not mushy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain again and transfer to medium bowl; toss 2 tablespoons fish sauce mixture with noodles and set aside.
When shrimp is cool enough to handle, coarsely chop.
Combine carrot, peanuts, and jalapeno in small bowl. Add 1 tbs fish sauce mixture; toss to combine. Toss cucumber in remaining 1 tbs fish sauce mixture.
Spread clean, damp kitchen towel on work surface. Fill 9-inch pie plate with 1 inch room-temperature water. Working one at a time, immerse each rice paper wrapper in water until just pliable, about 10 seconds; lay softened wrapper on towel. Scatter 6 mint leaves and 6 cilantro leaves over wrapper. Arrange 5 cucumber sticks horizontally on wrapper, top with 1 tablespoon carrot mixture, then arrange about 2½ tbs noodles on top of carrot mixture. Place about 2 tablespoons of the chopped shrimp on top of noodles. Wrap spring roll like a burrito. Cover with a damp kitchen towel; repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup water
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp Sambal
2 tsp light olive oil
2 garlic cloves pressed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Whisk peanut butter, Hoisin sauce, water, tomato paste and Sambal in small bowl. Heat oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in peanut butter mixture; bring to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors blend, about 3 minutes. Sauce should have ketchup-like consistency; if too thick; add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until proper consistency is reached. Transfer to bowl; cool to room temperature.
These are a great lunch or an appetizer and the Peanut Sauce really brings it all come together. I would like to find a recipe where the rolls themselves are a bit more flavorful but am very happy I cut my Spring Roll making time by half.