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Fresh Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauce

Fresh Spring Rolls

Thanks to Beth M. for this recipe, which she got from Cooking Light, 2000 Annual Recipes.  She said she makes them special for New Year’s.  What a great tradition!

Soak in hot water 10 min, then chop finely:

  • 5 dried mushrooms (I used about 1/3 c dried shredded black mushrooms)

Saute the mushrooms and the following, 2 min:

  • 2 t peanut or canola oil
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves minced

Mix the above and the following in a large bowl:

  • 2 c bok choy or Chinese cabbage – finely chopped
  • 3/4 c bean sprouts
  • 1-2 c shredded carrots  (use the shredding attachment in your food processor)
  • 1/2 c chopped green onions
  • 2 T sesame seeds

You will also need:

  • rice paper wrappers

Put one or two wrappers in a pie pan with warm water in it, being sure they get all wet.  They will be ready in about 60-70 seconds.  I sometimes used them when they were slightly stiff, and sometimes when they were much softer, and it didn’t seem to make much difference either in rolling or when eating.  But what do I know?  Use 1/4  c vegetables for each spring roll, placing it in a small pile slightly below the center line.  It didn’t seem to matter whether I folded the bottom or sides in first, but do pull the sides over as far as you can – otherwise they pop out when you squash it.  Now squash it to try to get the excess air and water out.  Roll and squash as best you can.  Beth said she could roll with one hand and squash with the other, but I never got the hang of that.

I placed them seam side down in a Tupperware pie taker.  I forgot to count how many I made, but they almost filled the pie taker, and pretty much covered two dinner plates when I put them out.  Do cover them with a wet paper towel as you work, to keep them from drying out.  I stored them under the paper towel, with the lid on in the fridge for several hours until dinner.  Slice in half on the diagonal and Beth said she garnishes the plate with the rosette from the bok choy sprinkled with lemon juice to keep it from browning.

These tasted very good, but I’m not good enough to make them neat.  I would try this again, but not yet for an elegant situation.  The sauce was great.

Sauce:
  • 1/2 c hoisin sauce
  • 3 T water
  • 3 T soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 t sesame oil
  • 1/8 t crushed red pepper

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