After a long, cold, and windy winter, spring has finally sprung in DC! And what better way to embrace the new sunshine than a batch of spring rolls. Light and refreshing, yet deliciously satisfying, these are the perfect weekend lunch for a lazy Saturday at the pool.
- 12 large shrimp, peeled
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 8 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds plus additional in case some tear *
- handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- handful of mint leaves
- handful of basil
- 1 seedless cucumber
- 1 carrots
- 1 firm, yet ripe mango
- 1 ripe avocado
*disclaimer: some will inevitably tear
Begin by prepping your veggies. Wash and clean your cilantro, mint, and basil leaves. Roughly chop and set aside.
Cut your cucumber and carrot into thin matchsticks.
Then prep your mango. I use this method! Seems a little strange, but it really does work!
Now it’s time to cook your shrimp! Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a non stick pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, throw in your cleaned and pealed shrimp. Overcooked shrimp are an absolute nightmare and only need about two minutes on each side. Another fun trick it to watch for the tails to curl in slightly. When you see this begin to happen, it’s time to take the shrimp off the heat and place them on a plate to cool.
Once your shrimp have cooled, you can cut open your avocado and begin to build your spring rolls.
For my rice paper, I used the Banh Trang brand which I found at my local grocery store in the Asian foods aisle.
To soften your rice paper, fill a shallow pan with warm water. Submerge a single sheet of rice paper in the water for about two seconds, until it is pliable yet firm. Don’t worry if it feels too firm. Once you place it on the rolling surface, it will continue to absorb water and become soft.
Now comes the fun part! Assemble your shrimp rolls on a clean flat surface. I find a cutting board to be the best option.
And don’t over think things. Just arrange a three or four shrimp on the rice paper.
Plus a few matchsticks of cucumber, mango, carrot, and avocado.
And top with your fresh herbs.
A little basil here.
A pinch of mint there.
And roll them up! I find it easiest to fold in the ends and then roll up the paper from one end to the other. The chow has a quick tutorial here.
And there you go! In a way, these remind me of a beautiful stained glass window with all the colors poking through.
If you’re feeling saucy, pair these with a dollop of spicy peanut sauce.
And perhaps a crisp glass of New Zealand’s finest.
Ah, if only it wasn’t Monday and drinking wine wasn’t frowned upon at work…