Thursday, May 5, 2011

Garden of Eden Spring Rolls with Creamy Peanut-Ginger Dipping Sauce

Garden of Eden Spring Rolls 
with Creamy Peanut-Ginger Dipping Sauce
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari

I combined a couple of spring roll recipes to arrive at this one.  It most closely resembles the one in the Whole Foods cookbook.) You'll find you can easily swap out the filling ingredients to what is available and according to your own preferences. Suggestions below.

This makes 18 spring rolls - Great party food.  Since they are best when freshly made (or served within 1 or 2 days) I reduced the ingredients by a third for a party of two.

1 - 7 ounce package rick sticks (or bean thread noodles)*
4 cups very thinly sliced Napa cabbage
2 cups baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced (tough stems removed)
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves (stems removed)
1/4 cup sliced fresh mint
1/4 cup  thinly sliced fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves (stems removed)
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (both white and green parts)
1 1/2 cups edible, organic flowers, stems removed
18 spring roll wrappers (Tapioca or rice flour wrappers)*

Creamy Peanut-Ginger Dipping Sauce for serving.

*Available in well stocked supermarkets, or in Asian grocery stores

Other fillings that you might like to swap for those listed above:
Fresh Bean Sprouts
Green Cabbage, very thinly sliced
Finely grated carrot

Preparation: Have ready a sealable/air tight container, bottom lined with damp paper towels. Have a couple of additional wet paper towels (or lettuce leaves) ready to place over the finished spring rolls as you assemble them (to keep them from drying out.)

In a medium size saucepan bring 2 quarts water to a boil; add noodles and cook for 3 minutes, stirring a few times to assure the noodles are submerged and cook evenly. Drain well, rinsing under cold water until noodles are cold. Drain well when chilled.Set up assembly area on flat work surface; place a clean kitchen towel on the surface.Prepare vegetables and flowers, toss gently in a large bowl to distribute the ingredients rather evenly.  Set aside near your assembly area.
To soften the spring roll wrappers: Fill a large pan, (wide enough to lay spring roll wrapper out flat) with a couple of inches of very hot water.  Place one spring wrapper into the water, submerging completely for about 30 seconds until it is soft and pliable. To assemble: Lay the wrapper out on the towel; place 1/2 of the filling ingredients and 1/4 cup noodles in center of wrapper; roll the edge nearest you over the top of the ingredients, then pull back slightly to secure the ingredients in the fold, bring right side over to the middle, then the left side over to the middle, then roll up tightly to form the spring roll (as if making a burrito). Place in prepared damp paper towel (or lettuce leaf) lined container; cover spring roll with another wet paper towel or lettuce leaf.  Continue with remaining spring rolls. If serving buffet display, keep spring rolls covered with wet lettuce leaves to keep them from drying out.(Tip: work with the wrappers one at a time; dip to soften then fill and roll before moving on to the next spring roll.)Serve with your favorite Peanut Dipping Sauce (as served with Sate), or try this one:

Creamy Peanut-Ginger Dipping Sauce
This makes plenty, about 3 cups. (I usually reduce the recipe by a third.)

1 cup creamy (smooth) peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce (low-sodium works fine here)
1 to 2 teaspoons red chili paste (optional; use it if you want the sauce spicy)
3 tablespoons honey, or white or brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter sauce)
juice of 1 large, or 2 small limes
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger, more if you love a pronounced ginger flavor; micro-plane works perfectly for this task. (Note: if you don't have fresh ginger, omit--dried ginger will not suffice) 

In a food processor or blender combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, honey or brown sugar, and lime juice until smooth. With motor running, gradually add enough hot water to thin to desired consistancy (you don't have to use it all.) Transfer sauce to a serving bowl, or individual dipping bowls.


Click HERE to return to Once Upon a Plate