Another recipe makeover, this time another jewel from Heidi Swanson. I really love her stuff. I just wish I always had her ingredients on hand!! This time, I made over her Avocado Spring Rolls recipe. I wish I could have just made hers, but I didn't have any tofu or fresh oregano, so I just ended up stuffing my wrappers with sushi filling. They tasted just like sushi, but without the seafood flavor from the nori. The rice papers are ridiculously chewy and sticky - which may be a plus or a minus, depending on your sensitivity to texture. I liked them just fine, although they were more work than regular sushi, and I kind of missed the nori. Oh well, we must have options!!
edit - I ate these last 3 after a few hours in the fridge, and the wrappers were quite firm and hardly sticky at all - a much better texture than they had fresh. If you aren't a fan of sticky, just chill them and try again!
Serve these as a healthy alternative to deep fried appetizers at your next party, or pack 2 or 3 with your lunch along with a salad or miso soup!
Not Sushi, Spring Rolls!
28 Spring Roll Skins (Banh Trang) available at Asian grocers, and in well stocked Krogers (1 package is plenty)
7 Cabbage leaves (see instructions)
28 pickled ginger slices
1 C diced, cooked chicken thigh (about 2 medium, 130g, 4.5oz)
3 C cooked sticky/short grain rice
3 T seasoned rice vinegar
Peel the outer few leaves from the cabbage, then remove the core to loosen the next several leaves. Try to peel 7 leaves off, leaving each intact as much as possible. Rinse each in cool water - leaving them damp - then place in a large microwave-safe bowl - nesting them is fine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and heat on high power for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave, but leave covered to continue steaming while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice both avocados in half, remove the seed by striking sharply with a large knife, then twisting, and scoop each half out of the skin with a large soup spoon. Place all 4 halves cut-side down on a cutting board, and slice each half into 8 pieces (there will be a few extra slices, so don't use the smallest pieces!)
Quarter each cabbage leaf by slicing out the center stem, then cutting each leaf into about 4 equal pieces. This won't be terribly precise, but it's fine.
Fill your cabbage bowl with warm water, gather all your ingredients near by and place a large cutting board in front of you. One at a time, take a spring roll skin and dip it into the water for about 3-5 seconds. It should still feel stiff when you remove it. Place it on your cutting board and layer a cabbage quarter, 2T of rice, a slice of avocado and a piece of ginger on the edge nearest to you.
Stretch and roll the wrapper around the filling once or twice, then fold over both ends and continue to stretch and roll - it should stretch a lot, like plastic wrap, and make a nice, tight cylinder. The ends might look wonky - try to keep your end fold-overs nice and wide, not let them bunch up in the middle. After you do one or 2, you'll get the hang of it. The roll will continue to soften and stick to itself within a few minutes.
Put a piece of plastic wrap on a serving plate, and fit as many as you can in a single layer, then add another layer of plastic wrap before stacking more. These may be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.