I don’t care what mis/pre/immaculate/conceptions you may have about Thailand but I will tell you this: the food lives up to the hype. Back in 2001we had the good fortune to travel in this amazing country. We ate fresh, flavorful and most of all, spicy as hell, food for one glorious week. Upon our departure my parents left me in the Bangkok airport to fend for myself before continuing on to Spain. Even the airport had great food. Yeah, it’s that awesome there. This is a recipe that I deconstructed from a little place called East West cafe in Tacoma of all places. I know that is embarrassing but you can see it from the freeway so, no harm no foul.
The sauce is a soon-to-be-no-longer secret recipe developed by the Carroll family, and our Thai ancestors.
This is the longest intro ever, so lets get started.
The final product
Rice or tapioca paper wrappers
1 bag thin rice or bean thread noodles
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 bag of bean sprouts
2-3 heads of Romain lettuce (in Spain I discovered you can get baby Romain heads, they are perfect)
2-3 Tbls soy sauce
1 cup peanut butter (I use Adams)
1 cup chicken broth
4 Tbls chopped ginger (or as much as you can stand)
This is a labor of love. These little wraps of wonderment are so yummy, but you may be disappointed with how fast they disappear. I find that they are best to make when many people are around and that’s just what we did here.
First, let’s make the sauce so we can allow it to cool a little.
In a sauce pan over medium heat combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, broth and ginger. Stir for about 5 minutes until thick and remove from heat. Easy sauce, huh? Well, you’re about to make up for it with the wraps.
To make the salad rolls I usually clear a large work surface and set it up like an assembly line, each ingredient separated from the other. Then you can have your friends help.
To prepare, wash all of your vegetables well, grate the carrots, and separate the leaves from the mint and cilantro. In a large pot boil enough water to cover the thin rice noodles. Remove the pot from heat and put your rice noodles into the pot. Let them sit for about 2 minutes. If they are soft, drain them into a colander (strainer) and set them in a bowl. (At least that is what I think it says to do on the bag. I’m not sure because it is all in Chinese but it seems to work.)
Now you’re ready. Boil some water. Pour about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of a large sauce pan.
From here the lovely Rana will demonstrate the assembly process:
1) Place one of the rice wrappers into the water. Be careful! That was just boiling. Leave it in for only about 10 seconds or less. This will soften the wrapper. Remove and lay it out on the counter.
2) Place a large segment of lettuce on top of the wrapper and place small amount of all of the ingredients into it.
3) Pull the lettuce to the edge closest to you and begin rolling up the wrap.
4) When you get about half way, fold in the sides so they seal the ends. Then continue rolling it up.
5) Repeat steps 1-4 until you run out of motivation or rice wrappers.
Once you have a tray full of these, dip them in the peanut sauce and enjoy. They are great appetizers but we often eat them as a dinner.
Check out what happened when we made them last time:
Labels: Thai, salad, appetizer, dinner, dip,