Tag Archives: salad shrimp

Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

19 Jan
Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

While the rest of the country is freezing and snowed in, the balmy days here in the Pacific Northwest gave me a hankering for some light and savory spring rolls. We’ve been bordering on 60 degrees all week and I’ve been wondering where winter went this year?  I’m typically making soups and stews during January,  not fresh and crunchy spring rolls!

I set up a “build-your-own-spring-roll” station on the kitchen counter, showed the family how to soak their rice wrapper, choose their filling, and how to roll it up. I got a little over-zealous with my spring roll filling as it was bursting at the seams! My husband made three of them, and his were neat and tidy packages like you see at the restaurants, but he ate his before I could photograph them. And me? Well I’m not exactly a perfectionist. Do as I say, not as I do, right? Besides, you do want to eat these right away or the rice wrapper becomes a bit gummy over time.

Julienned Vegetables

Julienned Vegetables

Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. I julienned all the vegetables earlier in the day, cooked the noodles, then stored them in the refrigerator until we were ready to get rolling. About 15 minutes before dinner, I made the spicy peanut sauce, laid out all the fixin’s, and the dinner bell rang! Everyone agreed these were a surprising tasty meal on a not-so-cold mid-winter’s night.

You can substitute and/or omit any of the vegetables for ones of your liking. On a whim, I bought a jicama to add to the mix, which added a slightly sweet crunch to the roll. Same with the herbs, you may use any or none of them, or even sub in parsley. Although I do think each one adds its own depth of flavor in the end.

Spring Roll Filling

Spring Roll Filling

Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

For the spring rolls:
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
4-inch chunk of cucumber, julienned
1/2 jicama root, julienned
3 green onions, green part cut into 4-inch pieces
Romaine lettuce leaves
2 ounces dried rice noodles
Salad shrimp
Round rice wrappers
Fresh cilantro, mint, and Thai basil

For the spicy peanut sauce:
4-inch piece of lemongrass root
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek (Thai chili paste)

Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Roll

Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Roll

Wash and prep all your vegetables, cook the rice noodles according to directions, and store in containers in the refrigerator until ready to make your rolls.

About 15 minutes before serving, make the peanut sauce. Boil the lemongrass in the water in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Remove the lemongrass then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Turn down heat and simmer until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lay out a wet dish towel on the counter, and set up a line of all your vegetables, herbs, and shrimp. Put one rice wrapper in a shallow pan and cover with water, and swirl it around until it becomes soft and pliable. Working quickly, lay the wrapper on the wet dish towel, top with a lettuce leaf, some rice noodles and fillings/herbs of choice. Fold the bottom of the rice wrapper up over the filling, tuck in both sides, then roll up the rest of the way. Serve with the warm spicy peanut sauce.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Inside-Out Wonton Soup

16 Jan
Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready to Eat

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready to Eat

I’m on an Asian food kick now. I read on another blog it’s one of the “new and upcoming comfort foods of 2013.” HOWEVER, that is not why I’m suddenly making these dishes, it’s because I finally invested in some of the essential ingredients to make that kind of food I’ve always enjoyed at restaurants, and durn it, I am not going to let them waste away in the fridge, pantry, and freezer. If you have the ingredients on hand, then a whole new world of taste opens up. I am absolutely astounded how well this soup turned out. It was so steenkin’ delicious that I was doing that little happy dance in my head. And oh I guess I better share the family rating. Hubby went back for seconds (his portions were large ) and daughter went back for thirds!  That’s the second time that happened in one week! Woot!

I saw this recipe originally on a FaceBook page I belong to that came from The Cooking Channel website. It was entitled “Deconstructed Wonton Soup.” That piqued my interest, and after I read it I knew it was something I was definitely interested in making. I had made some wontons around Thanksgiving and talk about a pain in the butt to assemble. I was not so interested in assembling a ton of those again. So I googled those words and came across another blog that had a different recipe for it, made almost a year earlier. I liked parts of each recipe, so combined them into my own making. Well, that’s pretty much what I always do with new recipes, unless I am forced to bake something that needs exact measurements. Did I ever mention I don’t like to bake cakes and such? Oh, only about a hundred times? OK, I’ll shut up about that.

This recipe handily fed the three of us, with leftovers of about two servings even after we all pigged out. The soup the next day was good, but the flavors were not as intense, so it’s not something I would recommend doubling for the freezer. The broth was also cloudy the next day, and the wonton wrappers slightly mushy. This is a make it and eat it soup! Bright, fun, and packed full of flavor. I added a chopped serrano pepper, and I could not feel any heat from the soup, and next time I would add a jalapeño instead. But if your family can’t handle the heat factor, the serrano should be fine. The pepper cooks in to a mellow flavor. Oh, and the best part? It took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I’m thinking it will only be about a half hour next time since I won’t be trying to figure it all out. And I’m calling it Inside-Out Wonton Soup because the term “Deconstructed” sounds so… well.. technical and exact. I don’t do that. I wing it. OK I said I would shut about that.  😉

Inside-Out Wonton Soup
Adapted from The Cooking Channel and Farmer Jo

4 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (peel first)
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 to 4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
1/2 pound salad shrimp (you know, those teeny things)
1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 cups pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix (purple and green cabbage and carrots)
6 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken or turkey broth
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
12 wonton wrappers, each cut into 4-inch strips (freeze the rest)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready for Garnish

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready for Garnish

Chop and slice all the ingredients you need to first and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil over medium heat in a soup pot or dutch oven, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up and stirring around until no longer pink. Add the ginger, pepper, garlic, white and light green onion parts, shrimp, and water chestnuts. Cook until softened (the water chestnuts won’t soften), about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the other two teaspoons of sesame oil, then add the cole slaw mix and stir around until the cabbage starts to wilt, just a few minutes more.

Pour in the broth, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Bring up to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the edamame and wonton strips (add the wonton strips one or two at a time to avoid clumping), bring up to a simmer again, then cook for about another 10 minutes.  Serve in large bowls with the rest of the green onions, cilantro, and soy sauce on the side for people to add to their taste. Brilliant!

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