Spring radishes salad rolls
I was organizing my pantry the other day, determined to simplify and use what’s there. I am not a “shopping list” shopper and inevitable my pantry gets filled with stuff that excites me one moment and then languishes on the shelves, forgotten. One of these items was a bottle of Asian dipping sauce that looked enticing so I thought I’d make a few salad rolls to use the sauce with. They are always fun and I haven’t made them in a while (meaning, a few weeks). I had the rice paper, rice noodles and the rest is easy, add what you have in the fridge.
So I had a bunch of exotic looking radishes: black radish, beautiful elephant radishes and big white ones and I thought their pungent flavour would go well in salad rolls. I added very thinly sliced sweet red pepper, organic carrots, snow peas, mint, cilantro, cucumbers, a few pumpkin seeds. I also had quinoa and roasted banana squash in the fridge so I made a couple of rolls with these ingredients instead of the rice noodles. It was a nice change.
8 rice paper rounds
4 cups boiling water
4 oz rice noodles
2 small cucumbers, sliced thin and cut into sticks
1 carrot, sliced into strips and cut into sticks
1/2 red pepper sliced thinly on a mandolin
Radishes, whichever ones you have, cut into sticks
Snow peas, cut in thin sticks
2 brusseles sprouts, thinly shredded
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves
1 bottle Asian dipping sauce (I had Trempette Nuoc Cham from Blue Dragon, purchased at Urban Fare)
It is important to have all the ingredients ready for assembly. Prepare each ingredient and place on a dish on the counter in front of your work surface.
Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Generally you drop them into boiling water, remove from heat and leave covered for 4 minutes or so, then drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil and pour into a shallow dish wide enough to have the rice paper rounds dipped into it.
You will be working with one rice paper round at a time. Dip the rice paper into the hot water for a few seconds to soften it, hold the edges and turn over once. Remove and place on your work surface spreading the edges so it is round. I work on a large piece of wax or parchment paper.
Use half cup filling per wrap. It is difficult to say exactly how much filling to put onto the rice paper, use your judgement and place a reasonable amount of each of the ingredients on each wrap.
Start with rice noodles and add remaining ingredients on top.
Fold the bottom part of the rice paper over the filling, gathering the sides in to keep the filling contained. Stretch the remaining end over the roll to secure everything in place. It’s somewhat like wrapping a gift.
Place prepared salad rolls on a plate and cover with a double thickness of paper towels that has been wet under running water and the water squeezed out.
Continue with remaining rice papers until you have used up all the ingredients. If the rolls touch each other they may stick later so space them up a bit.
If you are not using them immediately then place a plastic wrap over the rolls (and the damp paper) and keep refrigerated.
Serve with the bottled dipping sauce or with peanut sauce or one of the sauces I posted here and here..