Thursday, 1 September 2011

HOW TO MAKE SMALL CHOPS

 Basic Fresh Spring Roll Recipe (Summer Rolls)
12 spring roll wrappers 9" (rice paper)
6 oz. firm tofu (not silken)
2 T. or more soy sauce, tamari
6 oz. thin rice noodles (vermicelli)
48 fresh mint leaves
1/4 head leaf lettuce
3 shredded carrots (optional)
spring roll sauce (see below)

Method Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Pat dry with paper towels. Press it for an hour (optional). Put the tofu slices on a nonstick cookie pan. Add the soy sauce, trying to keep it on the tofu as much as possible.

Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally
and adding more soy sauce if they look like they can absorb more. When they are nice and brown and dry, cut them into strips, about the size of French fries. You will need one strip per spring roll. (If you don't have
time to bake the tofu, cut it into strips and fry it with the soy sauce on a nonstick skillet for a few minutes, carefully turning each strip, trying to crisp it up a little on each side.) Set aside.

Wash and dry the lettuce. Tear it into 3 or 4 inch pieces, removing stems and crisp veins. Your lettuce needs to be on the limp side. Any crisp pieces will tear the spring roll wrappers when you try to roll them.

Wash and dry the mint. Remove all stems. Set aside. (If you can't get fresh mint, you can substitute fresh cilantro, but the spring rolls will taste quite different.

Shred or grate the carrots into small pieces.

Add the the rice vermicelli into boiling water and cook until just done, about 2 or 3 minutes. Pour into a colander, and rinse with cool water. The noodles need to be well drained and cool enough to handle. Set
aside.

Put an inch or two of water in a pan that is big enough to hold the spring rolls. (Cool water works fine). Separate the wrappers, and stack them in the water, making sure each one is completely covered with water
before putting in the next one. Leave the wrappers in the water until they are flexible (about 2 or 3 minutes). Remove the whole stack at once, and place them on a clean wet kitchen towel, covering them with another damp towel.

Assemble Spring Rolls Carefully remove one wrapper and put it on another surface such as a bamboo sushi mat or a damp towel. If you use a plate be sure to remove the excess water between each spring roll.

Working quickly place the following fillings onto a moistened wrapper; or 4 small pieces of lettuce, 4 leaves of mint, a handful of rice noodles, one strip of tofu, and a few tablespoons of carrots if desired. Quickly fold the bottom of the wrapper over the pile, fold in the sides, and continue to roll up. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.

Note: If the spring rolls are falling apart make sure the wrapper is drained well and don't overfill the wrapper.

Serving

Cut each spring roll in half making a diagonal cut. Serve cold or room temperature with dipping sauce. The rolls can stay covered in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. They can be packed and served for lunches and outings.

As appetizer, serve one or two per person. As a main course, count on at least three per person.
Sweet Spring Roll Sauce
4 T. sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 c. broth or water
2 T. corn starch
1/4 c. cold water
1 clove garlic, crushed with 1/4 ts. salt

Combine sugar, soy sauce, and broth. Bring to a boil. Add corn starch mixed smoothly with the cold water, and stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Simmer, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in garlic. Serve warm or cold.




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