The packaging says it all – wai, wai?
I decided to emulate Chinese takeout for date night this weekend, maybe Szechuan shrimp and dumplings. Considering that it was close 90, I veered away from the heavy Chinese sauces turning to the light and refreshing flavors – lime and cilantro – of Thai cuisine, selecting Pad Thai with spring rolls.
It’s been a while since I’ve cooked Thai food. In part due to the numerous boxed versions consumed during and the first couple of years after college. Therefore, I frantically drove around town trying to update my pantry. Four grocery stores and one Asian market later, I was finally ready.
Rice paper wrappers are fascinating! When dry, the paper-thin sheets are brittle and marked with crosshatch pattern. Once submerged in warm water the pattern disappears and the delicate sheets become pliable, sticky and translucent. When removing the sheets from the water, the wrappers have a tendency to fold in on themselves. I began thinking, what did I get myself into? Why am I doing this? Despite my initial struggle, the rolls were fantastically delicious!
Thai Shrimp Rolls
(inspired by Dianasaur Dishes)
- Rice paper wrappers
- Vermicelli rice noodles
- Shrimp (2 or 3 per roll)
- Carrot (Julienned)
- Cook the vermicelli rice noodles according to the packaging, for the Wai Wai noodles, submerge in warm water for a couple of minute
- Arrange ingredients in an assembly line (I skipped this step and forgot to add the scallions and cilantro – the whole reason for cooking this dish!)
- Submerge the rice paper into warm water until pliable
- Place the rice paper on a cutting board
- Place the filling in the middle and roll like a burrito
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves of grated garlic
- ¼ c hoisin sauce
- ¼ c chunky peanut butter
- ¼ c water (or more until you reach desired consistency)
- A couple of squirts of Sriracha sauce
- Soy sauce (to taste)
- Fish sauce (my attempt at authenticity!)
- Heat oil and add garlic
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer until well mixed
Ok, so I forgot to add the scallions and cilantro to my spring roll. However, I made up for it by adding a little to each bite.