Monday, September 3, 2012

Maine Lobster Summer Rolls (makes 5 rolls)


These summer rolls, known as gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese are easy to make and you can pretty much use anything you like for the filling.  It's basically eating a salad in a roll.  The rolls are typically made using shrimp, thinly sliced boiled pork with a little fat, cooked rice noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts, and various types of fresh herb. You can tell whether someone is skilled in making these rolls by their consistency and how tight they are.  My mother, aunts, and cousins make beautiful rolls.  I made these rolls with sliced Maine lobster meat and home grown herbs and lettuce. 

Ingredients:

1 cooked Maine lobster tail, thinly sliced
1 bunch of young lettuce or mixed greens, washed and dried
1 handful of fresh herbs, washed and dried
5 sheets of rice paper
1 large bowl of warm water

Method:

1)  Wet the whole sheet of rice paper in water.
2)  Let the sheet drain on the back of a dry colander or on a clean dry towel.
3) When the sheet is pliable and somewhat dry start, add some of the vegetable/herbs.
4) Start rolling the sheet tightly and stop at about 3/4 of the way.
5) Add lobster and/or any meat you prefer (if you add the meat/lobster here then they will show through after the roll is complete).
6) Fold in the sides.
7) Complete rolling the roll.
8) Repeat the process for each roll, when complete serve with the Vietnamese Dipping Sauce.

dip the rice sheets in warm water
and let it rest on a towel or a colander
once the rice sheet is pliable
add the veggies, meat and/or seafood
start rolling tightly
 (the key to making a good roll is to roll as tight as possible)
roll up to about 3/4 of the sheet
fold in the sides
complete the roll
these perfect rolls were made by my cousins when I visited Vietnam in 2010
(ingredients: rice wrappers, cooked rice noodles, cooked shrimp,
Chinese chives, lettuce, bean sprouts, and assorted herbs)
*The rice sheets are called bánh tráng in Vietnamese.  The best type of rice sheets are the one that are not too thick or too thin.  The thin ones break easily if you are not so skillful.  The thick ones are not as ideal for fresh spring rolls.  These fresh spring rolls are best eaten as soon as they are made.  If you have any left over rolls you may take a damp cloth and place on top of them to prevent the rolls from drying out.

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