I just love it when the flavor ideas I have in my head come together. I have a recipe for Thai Pork in a crock pot; full of lovely, delicate spices, served with yummy black forbidden rice.. I also had part of a head of cauliflower left over from making cauliflower steaks from the middle part. AND I wanted to try making spring rolls because I finally found rice paper in one of the grocery stores I shop. The perfect culinary storm resulted in one super yummy meal.
Let’s talk about the soup first, because you’ll want to start it before the spring rolls. I made it using the Thai Pork recipe with a few exceptions: 1. I cooked it in a large pot on the stove. The slow cooking was mainly for the pork. 2. I wanted it more broth-y so I doubled the amount of broth (No Chicken Broth), doubled the Thai spices and used half again as much green curry paste: So 4 cups broth, 2 TBSP Thai spice blend and 1 1/2 TBSP green curry paste. 3. I used cauliflower instead of the pork. Chop up approximately 1/2 a head (about 2 cups-ish) of cauliflower in bite-sized pieces. Otherwise, make the recipe as is from the link above, cooking the carrots, onions, garlic and cauliflower in broth and spices for about 30 minutes before adding the peppers, curry and coconut milk.
After starting the soup, make black “Forbidden” rice according to package directions and set aside. Legend has it that this rice (which isn’t a true rice) was so special it was grown for the emperors. Commoners were forbidden to eat it. If you can’t find it, use your favorite rice, I like the flavor and color contrast of the black.
Finally the spring rolls. Spring rolls are more of a technique than a recipe. You can include any veggies you like, tofu, mushrooms, shrimp,….. I would avoid juicy veg like tomatoes unless they’re seeded. Spring rolls can be enjoyed as a meal or an appetizer or snack or lunch!
Because the rice paper is transparent, it’s fun to make your ingredients pretty. I made 14 spring rolls and had a bit of sliced veg and rice paper leftover.
- 1 package rice paper
- 2 nests of red rice noodles, prepared according to package directions (any thin rice or bean noodle will do)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 3 or 4 carrots, thinly sliced and cut to match the length of the peppers
- 1/4 head purple cabbage, shredded
- 5 green onions, mainly the white part, thinly sliced and then chopped on a diagonal into 1″ pieces
- 1/4 cup cilantro, rough chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
Prepare all your veggies and place on a cutting board or platter to make the spring rolling more efficient. Prepare noodles and place in a bowl near the veggies.
Soak each piece of rice paper in warm water for 15-20 seconds–until it becomes pliable, but not gummy. Place it on your working surface and arrange your filling in the lower half.
Fold the lower end of the rice paper over the filling.
Fold in the sides.
Roll it up tightly. Don’t worry if you don’t roll each roll identical to the last, they’ll be yummy no matter what.
Place your rolls on a plate or platter. Don’t worry they stick to each other, they’ll come apart without tearing.
Now to make the dipping sauce. This recipe makes a sweet-hot sauce–my preference. Michael dipped some of his rolls in hot mustard, and I’ve had some yummy peanut sauces for spring rolls. So, find your favorite or make a variety to choose from!
The ratio that I like is 2/3 plum sauce to 1/3 Sambal Oelek. I like the heat to stay in the background. Adjust it to your heat tolerances. Both of these sauces can be found on the Asian aisle in your grocery store.
Time for the perfect flavor storm! Place some black rice in one corner of a bowl and ladle in the soup. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge to squeeze over the top. Grab a couple of spring rolls and a personal bowl of dipping sauce. Exquisitely yummy.