Today’s recipe (s) is one that I am really excited about sharing with you. I have had so much fun playing with/inhaling various versions over the past week. I really hope you want to try it. It hasn’t all been plain sailing though: poor Mr A has been pining for hot food (I think I heard him say ‘steak’ in his sleep), but he still cheerfully chomped his way through platters of rolls and sauces. What a trooper. Miss R is away in Geneva so has missed out on most of the concoctions. But because I’m a nice mum, I will make as many summer rolls as she can tackle –
if she brings back the black truffle brie that I asked for.
In my eagerness to create/eat I bought up the local Chinese grocer’s stock of rice paper rolls. So, flush with a surfeit of ingredients, I went a bit wacky with the experimenting: Swedish summer rolls, anyone? Actually I think that is a success so I will share it at some point. But the lead recipe is my favourite.
I have just cottoned on to the fact that this blog-writing ruse is a great way to justify a spot of greed. Experimenting and making a mess in the name of research. Love it! But I will try and limit it to the healthy stuff. Like these fabulously nutritious rolls. Yeah, I know the the rice is white, but with all the other unprocessed and nutritious ingredients rolled in we can cut ourselves a little slack. If you can get hold of brown rice wrappers, then be my guest. In fact, had I the right kind of brown rice noodles (I usually do but didn’t on this occasion) they would have been used instead of the vermicelli. But anyhoo, stuff these little hot water dipped pancakes to the gunnels with freshness and piquancy in the knowledge that not only do they taste fantastic, they are perfect parcels of goodness – and summer.
And that’s my angle today: to me, summer rolls just say ‘summer’. Funny that. As our Scottish – nay, British – summer has itself been on holiday somewhere warm and sunny, it is up to food to put me in a carefree mood. And these delicate yet somehow robust translucent rolls do it for me. I hope they do it for you to. If it stops raining around here they will make it into the picnic basket, along with a giant umbrella. Just in case.
You probably know this, but summer rolls are Vietnamese in origin, where they are called goi cuon – literally, salad rolls. They sometimes get called crystal rolls and fresh rolls. So delicious and simple are they that the idea has been endlessly adapted. Much nicer and less guilt-inducing than their fried spring counterpoints, in my opinion. Most traditional recipes will included boiled and sliced pork and fried egg, while vegetarian versions use tofu rather than pork and prawn. Always with sour-hot nam chuoc. I could drink the stuff. Tempting coffee cup of it below.
This recipe is verging on traditional, but with a few foodtoglow tweaks. The biggest being the lack of beansprouts. With the recent link between beansprouts and a major E. coli outbreak, I didn’t think it responsible to include them. But I’ve added plenty of crunch to make up for their absence. I was also thinking that, like lettuce leaf-wrapped Vietnamese pork balls, you could forgo the rice wrapper and fold all of your ingredients in a soft butter lettuce leaf, maybe tied with a chive. Ooh. Now I’m going all fancy.
Another change is the sauce. Usually peanut, I thought almond would be a slightly better health choice. And I love the flavour. If you can’t get affordable almonds go ahead and use peanuts or even peanut butter, but the almonds are sine qua non to me. Nutritionally they are very similar, despite peanuts being legumes and almonds being the seed of the fruit of the almond tree. I always thought that peanuts had pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, but I was wrong and they may actually be anti-inflammatory, like nuts themselves.
Plus points for all nuts are that they may help to protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cholesterol problems, gallstones and possibly colon cancer. And rather interestingly, almonds in particular may help with weight issues: a one ounce portion a day has been recommended for those trying to lose weight as the combination of their protein content and monounsaturated fats promote satiety and fat-burning. And, peanuts and peanut butter may help keep your weight up when undergoing cancer treatment. I recommend it as an add-in to banana smoothies and some prescription supplement drinks.
A one ounce serving of either nut delivers about 160 calories, 14 g fat (almonds have more healthy monounsaturated fat) as well as Vitamins E, B2, B5 and calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and Omega 9 fatty acids. Because of the high vitamin E and zinc content both nuts are a must for those wanting better skin. Can’t get enough information about almonds? Then click here.
16 thoughts on “Tamarind Prawn Summer Rolls with Almond and Nam Chuoc Dipping Sauces”
Kellie, this does sound yummy…(I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before). Thanks for your blogs; they’re always fun to read.
Aw thanks! Do you think you and Barb will make it? Maybe don’t answer that. Really easy but I give you permission to cheat and use peanut butter (the good kind – not JIf!) Maybe get Madison and Tripp to make these when they next come over. Thanks for reading the whole thing rather than just the preamble!
This looks fantastic and is just what our post-holiday-super-overindulged bodies are craving – perfect, it’s on the menu for this week, thanks Kellie!
You’re welcome! Let me know how it is for you and family. I thought of you when I pressed the gluten-free button. Incidentally, Dan Lepard has tweeted a fab-looking new g-f bread recipe that he swears is his best yet and as he is the king of baking I trust him. If I am clever enough I am putting a shortened link here: http://bbc.in/pgnhh4
These are right up my alley! I’ve always bought summer rolls and wanted to make my own. I checked my local grocery and they didn’t have rice wrappers. I’ll have to hunt them down. Thank you!
I;m so glad you like the look of this and hope that you’ve got an Asian/Chinese grocers from which to purchase wrappers. As I said in the blog I literally bought the stock so that I can selfishly enjoy them anytime. You can certainly get them online. I accidentally bought some that were too thin (extra thin) for some of my ‘stock’. Don’t make the same mistake – they are a nightmare to handle. Or maybe I am just particularly clumsy. Probably the latter. Let me know if you try them and the sauces. Cheers!
I’m sure they can be snacked on during a cinema visit (wink!)
Nice try! Too anti-social for cinema (dipping in the dark – hmm) but we’ll make them at yours soon! Would Alex like them?
I made these on the weekend but did not look as good as yours…
Hope they tasted good though! Let me know. Any Bex tweaks to the recipe?
Madison, Tripp and I will be making these this weekend…we’re even going to toast the almonds! We’ll let you know how they turn out.
Great! Let me know how you get on – with pictures. They are very more-ish, as we say in these parts. We are up north friday but I have skype on the iPhone, so skype us. May not have reception up where we are though. Try the courgette, lemon and elderflower cake too, but minus the elderflower.
Ahhhhh how I miss elderflower. Will do on the skype and courgette! Safe travels!
It is such a bummer that you don’t have elderflower, the magic early summer elixir. Oh well. Put the skype on around 10 your time and we’ll pray we have reception in Oban. Let me know how all the kitchen capers turn out.
i could eat this everyday