Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Rolls with Recipe

To some degree I dread my cooking class because it is all in Japanese and not being an experienced cook, I don't have much to fall back on when I am confused which is all of the time, but I always go, and I am always glad. My cooking sensei's daughters help with a rough translation of the recipes from Japanese to English, fleshed out with a bit of help from my cooking mama friends- we try to go to the monthly classes together. I take a lot of pictures both because I am making a cook book as a gift for those who help me so much and because it helps me write the recipes later. Yesterday, was Thai inspired, and I found a new summer favorite. I had thought of them as Garden Rolls, but perhaps Summer Rolls is a better descriptor.

Summer rolls are made with dried rice paper which is sold in packages in the Filipino section of the commissary here, but likely found in Asian sections of most grocery stores wherever you are. I have eaten these at many restaurants and even once at a friend's house, but what I realized yesterday when I made them for dinner was how great they are for children too.

I was late in getting everything prepared so I put all of the ingredients on the table and had everyone help make their own rolls. It was a hit! You need a big bowl of water, a tightly knitted dish towel to lay the sticky rice papers on, and finely chopped ingredients such as shrimp, avocado, Tillamook cheddar cheese, shiso leaves or fresh corriander, lettuce, and cucumbers. I also had chopped pineapple on the table which was meant for dessert, but ended up in the rolls as well. I made peanut butter dipping sauce- see recipe at the bottom. The kids loved dipping the rice paper into the water, loved picking out what they wanted in the rolls, and mostly they skipped the dipping sauce. It was healthy, cool, and tasty all the way around for them, me, and my husband.

Here are some of the photos from our class that show the steps to making the rolls. Be creative with the ingredients- use fresh summer herbs and light vegetables. Think of it as a summer burrito. The rice paper seems to get sticky as it sits out so I don't recommend making these too far ahead and they don't work as leftovers. Eat them fresh.
Itadakimasu I humbly receive,

Lay the wet rice paper onto a towel & smooth it out
Add shrimp & shiso
Add lettuce & avocado
Add cheese & cucumber

Fold bottom over roll & turn sides up
Fold over other side & tuck into roll tightly
Roll up
Serve & Enjoy
For Dipping Sauce mix together: Peanut butter, unsweet kind, 3 Tbsp; Vinegar, 2-3 Tbsp; Sweet Chilli Sauce, 3 Tbsp; Garlic, 1/2 clove, chopped; Fish Sauce, 2 Tbsp. Add a bit of water if it is too thick.

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