Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Asian Persuasion Part 1: A failure?

 You know that when your evening starts out with an entire tube of Wasabi place, you've only got hot places to go!  Also, check out my awesome white carrot from the garden.  This puppy's translucent!
Today, we'll address just one of my phobias: seafood.  "I don't eat shellfish. Mom always 
it's been cleaned.'"  But seriously, it's true.  The times I can stomach seafood are very few and far between.  Growing up in the Midwest, I was at least 1000 miles from any sizeable coastline, and that really impacts how "fresh" the catch of the day can be.  Unless we're talking catfish, or something out of Lake Michigan...  well, you get my drift.  It's just not going to happen.  Today's recipe, the California Spring Roll, calls for shrimp.  Seafood has long been ingrained with "gross" in my head, so I substituted out for (oh yeah, you know it) chicken.  If you want to "devein" anything, that's your call.  As for me, I'll stick with the freshly grilled chicken prepared by Thomas, where there is no raw anything for me to touch.

So, we stick with prepping the yummy raw vegetables that will go in the spring rolls instead - carrots, avocado, and (beautifully crinkled) cucumber.  This process was very easy, took only a couple of minutes, and at this point in the process, I am fairly certain I'm going to rock some quasi-Asian house down!

I mixed up the sauce, which was surprisingly cool for all of the wasabi.   I expected more heat, but it balanced itself out nicely.
The rice paper was easy to work with, I just used a relatively large tupperware container filled with warm water (as per the paper's instruction packet), and dipped in the paper until it was all moist.  I then put it on my cutting board, filled it up with toppings, and rolled it.

You can only wet one wrapper at a time, and you have to move fairly quickly because they get sticky the longer they sit there.  It feels as though they will never be malleable when you make them damp, but they transform right there on your cutting board, or whatever surface you're working from while you're putting the stuffing on, so act quick, and have some faith that they will hold up their end of the bargain!

It's also good to note that I couldn't find the rice paper at any standard grocery store.  Fortunately, this is California, and every town has at least one Asian Market (our has three within two blocks, let alone the rest of the town!).  Thomas was easily able to swing by on the way home to pick some up, and it was about $1.50 for 30 or so. I have enough to last awhile.

All being said, the recipe was easy, but I think it was a bit bland.  I might have added more vegetables, or some more sauce, I'm not sure.  Thomas claims they would have been perfect if I had just stuck with the shrimp.  Well, woulda coulda shoulda, this girl ain't gonna!  Say what you will, but I'm not changing that much just because I'm cooking more.

They're not the prettiest in the world, but they were pretty simple.  Please enjoy them, just the same.  :)

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