Monday, February 25, 2013
Thai Kitchen Zing Rolls
I decided to try another recipe from Thai Kitchen and Simply Asian. I posted one recipe for Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Dip which I loved.
I then decided to try the Zing Rolls. Which happen to be Vegan. Not that I'm into vegan but one of my daughters is.
The ingredients were simple and easily acquired. Except for the Rice Paper Wraps. I looked at various local markets. No luck. Then I remembered an excellent Asian market a few miles away and decided to head out one Saturday morning. After searching several isles, including the refrigerated isle and freezer (I was thinking they'd be with the won ton wraps and such)...I finally tracked down a store employee and was directed to a dry goods isle.
All this to find a simple, tortilla like package of white disks. For 98 cents. For 100 wraps. I think I spent more in gas getting there.
You see...I am not, in the least, familiar with rice paper wraps. They're pretty cool little things. No cooking required. Just a little softening in warm water. Not only is this dish vegan, but other than cooking the rice noodles, it's raw. And I don't know about your area but raw, vegan food is HUGE around here.
And my daughter has jumped on that wagon. Big time.
Now, let me talk a little about these rice noodles. Red rice noodles to be exact. Yes, they have that reddish thing going on. Yes they are made of rice. I ended up spending a lot of time separating the noodles once cooked. I think if you use lots of water and spend some time stirring, it will save you time in the long run.
Also....once cooked, they have this pinkish hue thing happening. Sort of a fleshy color. When you put the spring roll together....don't be shocked or surprised if it resembles a...um...particular part of the male anatomy.
Just know....these spring rolls taste wonderful! The vegetable combination is fantastic. It's like having the perfect salad (minus the lettuce)...all rolled up tightly, in a little roll...easily enhanced with your favorite dip.
1/2 box Thai Kitchen Red Rice Noodles
12 round rice paper wrappers (8 1/2 inch)
2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips
3/4 cup shredded carrots
2 medium avocados, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
2 TB chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Sauce for dipping
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add rice noodles, stirring to separate noodles. (I suggest that you stir longer than you think you have to so they don't stick together). Let stand 8 to 10 minutes or until noodles are tender but firm. Drain well. Place in a large bowl of cold water. Separate noodles fully. Set aside.
Fill a 9" pie plate with warm water. For each spring roll, dip 1 rice paper wrap in water to wet completely. Place on your work surface. Blot dry with a paper towel.
Place 1/3 cup of rice noodles in bottom third of the rice paper.
Layer with 4 bell pepper strips, 8 cucumber strips, 1 TB carrot, 2 avocado slices, 1/2 tsp cilantro and 1 tsp peanuts.
Fold in sides,
then gently roll tightly to enclose filling.
Place spring roll on a platter. Cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining rice paper wrappers and filling ingredients to make 12 spring rolls.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve with dipping sauce.
I used the Sweet Red Chili Sauce.