Although most of my food addiction revolves around the unhealthy: sweets, cheese, bread, sweets, sweets… a fresh, hand-wrapped spring roll is a craving that I am not embarassed to share. It tastes so fresh and so light. What I am embarassed about, though, is my inability to wrap a pretty spring roll. But, it tastes good. It really, really does.
Fresh Crab Spring Rolls
Adapted from LA Times
- 1 head belgium endive
- 1/4lb Dungeness crab meat
- 3 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
- 1/2lb rice vermicelli ((at Asian specialty stores or ethnic aisles)
- 1 package of rice paper wrappers (at Asian specialty stores or ethnic aisles)
- 1 bunch watercress, leaves only
- Spring roll sauce: 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tbsp of fish sauce, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp of chopped Thai red chile or Asian canned chili, 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- Slice the belgium endive leaves into long, thin strips. Gently mix them in a bowl with crab meat and pine nuts. In another small bowl, stir together the mustard and the mayonnaise. Add mustard mixture to the crab meat mixture and gently mix again.
- Bring a salted pot of water to a boil. Add vermicelli and cook for 2-3 minutes until vermicelli is softened. Drain and place vermicelli in a bowl filled with water, so they remain flexible and loose.
- Fill out shallow wide bowl with hot water. Hold onto one edge of the rice paper and gently submerge in the bowl. Then, rotate the edge you are holding until all of the rice paper has been submerged in the hot water. Rotate the rice paper in a circular motion twice. The sheet should soften but still be somewhat firm. Place on plate.
- Line middle (left to right) with a few watercress leaves. scoop about 1 tbsp of crab meat mixture and place in the center area of the rice paper. Top with some rice vermicelli (dry them with paper towel before using). Now, take the top border of the rice paper and fold it over the filling (towards you). Then, fold the left side in and fold the right side in. Roll the folded filling towards you (keep the folding and rolling tight without breaking the paper). Slice spring roll in half on the diagonal.
- Repeat this with other spring rolls. This can be tightly covered and refrigerated for a day until ready to serve.
- Make spring roll sauce. Boil water and stir in sugar until melted. Add fish sauce. Let cool. Add garlic, chile, and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Serve spring rolls with dipping sauce on the side.