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spring rolls and dipping sauce

Spring Rolls – Rolling With It in our Quarantine Kitchen

Just roll with it. Ha! Trying my hand at making fresh spring rolls AND some puns that will help us through this COVID-19 WTF pandemic. Amidst the sense of peace and calm that results from the Safer at Home order, there is the panic, anxiety mixed with a pure unadulterated wtf Sh%&show. What if I get the Virus? How will I make ends meet? How do I cope with my kids’ loneliness while trying to deal with my own? Should I dye my hair blue? When will this end?!!!

One thing that has helped in this time is cooking. I have always felt grounded by cooking, but have not had much time to cook in the past two years as my business grew. Now, staying home and with tours on pause, I am back at it. In this time of uncertainty, creating a meal and serving that joy feels like solid ground.

I love making fresh spring rolls because you can make them with whatever you have on hand. They are a great DIY meal for kids, too. The trick is getting the wrapper pliable, and the fun is in the sauce.

My favorite fillings are: cellophane noodles, baked tofu, shrimp, carrots, cilantro and red bell pepper. My favorite sauce is a spicy peanut sauce. Out of peanut butter and allergic to shrimp?  It’s okay, just roll with it.

For the spring rolls

1 package Spring Roll Wrappers
Protein ideas:
Tofu – marinated and baked
Steamed shrimp, cut in half and “butterflied”
Egg omelet cut into strips
I haven’t tried Lao sausage but I think it would be great.

Vegetable ideas:
Cucumber strips
Red or yellow bell pepper
Cellophane rice noodles
Cilantro
Carrot strips
Lettuce or microgreens
Pea shoots
Fresh herbs

Dipping Sauce Recipes

PEANUT Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup hot water (to thin the sauce)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp brown sugar
Sriracha to taste

METHOD:
Add hot water to peanut butter, and stir until smooth.
Add other ingredients until well mixed and adjust to taste

Peanut-Free dipping sauce: (view video recipe from Sone Inthachith, owner at Lao Laan Xang Atwood)
1 cup water
2 heaping TBSP brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Fish sauce
Squeeze of lime
Chile paste to flavor/taste

METHOD:
Boil water and add brown sugar until dissolved.
Remove from heat
Add other ingredients
Stir and serve

Assembly

METHOD:
Soak spring roll wraps in slightly warm water (body temp) until pliable but not soft. They will continue to soften as you work with them. About 15-20 seconds?
Put the wrapper on a flat surface and add your fillings. Roll the wrapper over the filling and tuck one or both ends before continuing to roll. Set on a plate with the seam down. Enjoy!

Published on Apr 13 2020