Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thai Salad rolls

Thai was the theme for Sunday night poker last week, so I decided to take Thai style salad rolls. I avoided eating spring rolls for years as they just did not appeal to me for some reason. Any way I made some with a friend a couple of years ago and now I am a convert.

These are easy to make ahead and great for a take along pot luck or putting out at home for a get together.  I have made them in the past with seafood, but this was to be a Thai meal and when I researched on the Internet it appears that in Thailand they traditionally use chicken. You could also make them vegetarian replacing the chicken with tofu.

3 chicken breasts sliced into strips
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
Juice of one lime
1 red chili sliced or replace with hot sauce
1 package of large dried rice wrappers
1/2 package of thin dried rice noodles
1/2 cup of fresh basil roughly chopped
1/2 cup of fresh mint
1/2 cup of cilantro
1 red pepper sliced thinly
1 bunch of green onions sliced long ways
1 romaine lettuce sliced

Mix the brown sugar fish sauce and lime juice together and add the chicken and set aside. While you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Add the rice noodles to a pot of boiling water, then turn off the heat let the noodles cook in the hot water for a few minutes until they are soft and cooked through, then drain and rinse well in cold water to stop them from sticking.

This is what the noodles look like before cooking
Stir fry the marinaded chicken strips in a tablespoon of oil.

Adding the marinade when they are browned, then cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, place in a small bowl ready for putting everything together. Prepare the rest of the ingredients and lay them out on the table ready for assembly.

Pour hot water in to a large wide bowl then place a wrapper into the bowl and when it has gone completely limp and see through, a matter of seconds pull it out and place on a clean surface for rolling. Near the end closest to you place a couple of pieces of chicken then the green onion and the noodles.

Then add the remaining ingredients finishing with the herbs.

Fold in the two sides and roll it up.  The wrappers are much tougher than they look and magically seal themselves shut.

You can serve these just like this or cut them in half which is what I did as they really do look more appealing that way.  But I left them whole to transport as it was easier that way.

Ready to take along
I served this with a very simple dipping sauce of equal portions of fish sauce, low sodium soy sauce  with fresh sliced chili's and lime juice. You could also use a peanut sauce, hoisin sauce or a Thai sweet chili sauce.

To serve I cut each one in half and stood it on end in the dish, they were beautifully colourful and fresh, and were a good accompaniment to some of the richer spicier dishes.

This made enough to serve 10 as an appetizer or a side dish.

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