Thai it! You’ll like it!

So about two weeks about now I decided I would do a Thai inspired dinner for Riley, Tim and I.  I love Thai and we go for it occasionally.  Now let me tell you I have a new appreciation for the person in the kitchen at that place because I tried to make salad rolls and what the hell is up with them being so sticky that they are just like balls of goo that you can’t spread out because they are so hot and you are now missing the tips of your fingers from dipping them in the broth.

Just thought I would share that with you.  I made salad rolls and Pho one night for dinner.  I thought both of them turned out fairly well.  I will make the salad rolls again and hopefully remember that the broth doesn’t have to be boiling just below it.  The Pho was my first attempt and I did pretty good although I did not make the broth from bones or any of that other stuff I read about.  It was really just a bowl of noodles with seared beef, carrots, green onions, bean sprouts, and cilantro (or coriander, depending on what you want to call it).  Here are some pictures of it…  I think it looks quite pretty. 

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Salad Rolls

1/2 lb of shrimp plus 20 more

1/2 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup water chestnuts rinsed, drained, and chopped (now I HATE these things but I did put them in and I am happy to report I couldn’t taste them!)

3 green onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro chopped

2 tbsp of peanut dipping sauce recipe below

1/2 pkg of rice noodles, vermicelli

salt and pepper

10 round rice paper wrappers

1.  Get a pot of stock boiling, I used vegetable stock.  When it’s at a complete boil throw in the half package of noodles and wait about 20 seconds, by then they should be a nice texture and ready for your salad rolls.  (I soaked my noodles first in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes, this seems to really help speed up the cooking process and take away any gross taste that these noodles sometimes have).

2. Mix the shrimp with the vegetables, cilantro, and peanut sauce.  Season to taste.

3. This is the tricky part.  Have a sauce pan or large bowl (if you know that's all your rice papers will need) with hot broth, or water but I like broth better beside you and spread out a clean tea towel on the counter.  One at a time dip the rice paper wrapper into the broth for about 10 –12 seconds.  Then with your fingers that are immune to heat pull them out and spread the rice paper onto the tea towel.  I found this last part to be a bit tricky when your fingers are being burnt and the rice paper is not cooperating.  First put two shrimp on the rice paper in the middle and then if you want put a leaf or two of cilantro on top of them so when your done and fold them over  you will have a pretty side.  Put about 1/4 cup of rice noodles on the bottom rice paper in the middle, leave enough room at the ends to fold the ends in.  Now place about 3 tbsp of the shrimp mixture on top of the noodles.  Fold the bottom part up over the filling followed by the two sides, you should have something that resembles a burrito that is not closed.  Now roll the roll to the top of the rice paper and tada!  You have a salad roll.

It does take a couple tries normally to get it just right but they still taste the same!

Peanut Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup  natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth, I used chunky)

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp lime juice (fresh is better but don’t sweat it if all you have is the one in the squeeze bottle)

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

3 cloves of garlic, minced or if your like me I used my zester

1/2 tsp red chili paste

1.  Mix all the ingredients together, it will take a little bit but it will all come together and be a nice smooth sauce with peanut chunks it in it if you used chunky peanut butter.  Makes about 3/4 of a cup.  Serve along side the rolls. 

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Sorry for the crappy photography…  we’ll get better pictures next time.

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