Monday, October 26, 2009
There shouldn't be a recipe for spring rolls unless you like it in a certain way. And I do.
I like it when the spring roll skin has been lined with lettuce leaves for prettiness, smeared with 3 kinds of sauces for piquant-ness, heaped with julienned vegetables for crispness, piled with fruit for sweetness, sprinkled with crushed peanuts for crunchiness and maximised with shards of prawn crackers for saltiness. And only then will my spring rolls be perfect, nice, fat and outrageous.
That's the way I like it..... uh huh
But there is some work to be done beforehand. Don't be scared......just a little slicing, shredding and some Aristotelian compartmentalizing. And maybe a little boiling.... Uh huh...
Sengkuang or turnip I like. But I like them cooked. And I like them sweet. Because that's what my favourite spring roll stall does. I know because I asked. The turnip is shredded and boiled in brown sugar syrup until the turnips become gentle and soft and sweet. As sweet and gentle as you like it to be.
The carrots and the cucumber are to be brilliantly julienned, the sunshiny pineapple is to be peeled and chopped into bitty bits, some roasted peanuts crushed with a little love and some prawn crackers (or potato crisps) fragmented into tintillating pink shards. That's the Nigella part.
The 3 sauces are to be ready on the work top with a teaspoon dipped in each. Hoisin sauce from your supermarket shelf, taucheo sauce (yellow bean sauce) from the same shelf and a cooked chilli paste either bought in a bottle or homemade from blended dried chillies and sauteed in some amount of oil with a wisp of sugar and salt. That's the saucy part.
The spring roll skin would behave if separated and peeled before hand and covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying.
And the lettuce leaves would be very happy if they were washed and patted dry very tenderly.
Get a spring roll skin to lay quietly on the board. Introduce the pretty lettuce to the spring roll skin and let them be together. Spoon tiny dollops each of the saucy sauces onto the lettuce leaves to add some excitement. Bring the sweet shredded turnips (drained of syrup), julienned carrots, julienned cucumber and pineapple bitty bits together in a heap of fun. Then add a dash of crushed peanuts and the shards of pink prawn crackers for some wickedness.
Bring your fingers together and rock and roll.
Have a great party!