My goodness, what memories these summer rolls evoke. Setting up the long trestle table under the grapevines and forming a production line. Hot water, rice wrappers and a plate for each of the ingredients. My daughter and I laughed and drank ice tea as we made dozens and ate quite a few during the process. It was a magical morning, preparing for one of her important birthdays.
These rolls were not well known then. Today you can buy them easily, and the ingredients are much more traditional and available. This is the version that we made back then.
These can be adapted to include, well, whatever you like.
|50g bean thread noodles||50g string-grated carrot||25g shredded mushrooms (e.g. oyster mushrooms)|
|15 g water chestnuts, chopped||3/4 cup beanshoots||2 – 3 Lebanese cucumbers, finely sliced into lengthwise strips|
|4 spring onions or 2 bunches Chinese chives||1/2 cup coriander leaves||1/2 cup Asian or English mint leaves|
|few basil leaves (you might like to use Thai Basil)||rice wrappers|
|Sauce||2 parts chilli paste with soya bean oil||1 part sweet chilli sauce|
To make the sauce: Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stirring until smooth and set aside.
To make the rolls: Place the bean thread noodles and carrots in separate bowls and pour boiling water over them. Allow to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
In separate bowls, place the water chestnuts, spring onions or chives, coriander, chopped mint, basil, mushrooms and any other ingredients. Drain the noodles and carrot.
Fill a large shallow bowl or frypan with boiling water and dip each spring roll wrapper in briefly until softened, removing with tongs to a flat surface covered with a damp towel. Spread a little of the sauce over the surface, leaving a border uncovered, one third up from the lower edge and one third down one side. Take small amounts of each filling and place along the centre of the wrapper, and roll firmly, wrapping the ends inward before the last turn (the wrapping tends to stick to itself). Keep covered with a damp cloth.
They can be eaten cold, or steamed or microwaved gently. Serve with soy or sweet chilli sauce.