Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spring Harvest Spring Rolls

This week's share brought more lettuces- a peppery Asian mix and baby greens as well as deer tongue and leaf lettuce. There are also some spring onions and Hakurei turnips (very much like mild radishes). I had a barbeque to attend, and decided to bring some spring rolls to share as appetizers.
These spring rolls are made with rice wrappers. While I often go to the Oriental Food Market in Norwalk, CT to get my Asian ingredients, I found sesame oil and rice wrappers at the local Shop Rite in the Asian section. Very convenient!! These keep for days, and are a refreshing snack-- a really easy way to get those vegetables into your diet.
Knife skills are important here. If you have a mandolin, and are not a complete clutz with them, that's a great way to julienne your vegetables. Or you can cut them into planks and stack them in the feed tube of your food processor and use the slicing disc. OR you can get a really thin julienne of carrots by using a vegetable peeler and peeling wide strips and then stacking them and slicing them. Whichever works for you.
Some of the vegetables are stir-fried and chilled, and then I top them with the crisp, peppery Asian greens for more crunch. The sauce is also very easy, but if time is an issue, Ken's Asian Sesame Salad Dressing makes a great dipping sauce, too.

Spring Harvest Rolls
4 dried shitake mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
1 medium bunch bok choy, or 2 baby bok choy
2 carrots
2 spring onions
1-inch piece fresh ginger
1 fat clove garlic, or two medium cloves of garlic
4 cups water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
30 (approximately) leaves of Asian lettuce mix (or any mixed baby greens)
15 spring roll wrappers

2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 Tablespoon sherry or rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

1. Boil about 2 cups of water, pour over the mushrooms and let sit for about 30 minutes, until soft.
2. Cut the leafy tops off the bok choy (reserve for another recipe). Wash the stalks and cut into matchstick sized pieces. Peel the carrots and cut into matchstick sized pieces. Trim the bright green, woody stem of the onion and cut the white bulb and tender part of the stem into slivers.
3. When the mushrooms are ready, drain and cut off the woody stem. Cut the caps into slivers.
4. Grate the ginger on the smallest side of a box grater or with a zester. Mince the garlic.

5. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot and add the bok choy. Cook for  one minute, drain and rinse in cold water. Heat the oil in a wok and add the ginger and garlic. Cook for a minute or two- just until the mixture becomes fragrant. Add the onions and carrots and cook until they begin to wilt. Add the bok choy and mushrooms and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Chill.
6. Meanwhile make the sauce by combining the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, sherry, cornstarch and cold water. 
7. Fill a wide, shallow dish, such as a pie pan, with warm water. Add a spring roll wrapper and let soak 20 to 30 seconds, until pliable. Remove from water and place about 2 Tablespoons of the vegetables in the center of the wrapper. Top with a few leaves of crisp, fresh lettuce. Fold the sides in, and then roll up the roll from the bottom as tightly as possible, as if it were a burrito. Repeat with remaining filling and rolls. Chill. Just before serving, cut each spring roll in half, on an angle, and serve with dipping sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Having the honor of enjoying these at a recent graduation celebration...let me just say YUM YUM YUM!