Successful Spring Rolls!
Truly, I am thankful for the company that owns Pei Wei Asian Diner. They are one of the few fairly wide-spread restaurants that offer a gluten-free menu. However, the only dishes that contain vegetables are the Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls and the GF Sweet & Sour Chicken. I love both of them, but
- I’m tired of paying $6.25 for 1.5 Chicken Salad Rolls, which are basically “just” spring rolls.
- 5yo Wesley recently developed anaphylaxis to peanuts, and Pei Wei’s version has them. So, they’re not really safe to bring home.
- Plus, I’d like a little dietary variation once in a while.
So, I’d looked into buying some spring roll wraps online, and found plenty of places where I could buy them for $3 or so, and then pay $7 or so in shipping. <insert buzzer sound> I’m not willing to pay $10-ish for an experiment that may not work.
I thought about checking out an Asian grocery store, but, really, with four kids, I’m loathe to add one one more errand to my already-too-long grocery trips (which are often done at 10 p.m.). I also think that Asian grocery stores are on the list of “Places Unwise to Bring Kids.” (Note: When I go grocerying with my kids, I go in the day, not 10 at night. The night time ones are after the littles are in bed, and my hubby says, “Hurry back!”)
However, when I saw one of my local grocery stores started carrying the wraps, and they were only $1.99, I snatched them up.
These are the exact ones I found:
Last night, I undertook the homemade Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls. Except I didn’t have any chicken. So, they became pork rolls.
Following is a sort-of-recipe, because I didn’t measure anything.
First, I made a very simple dressing:
- about 2 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- about 2 tsp rice vinegar
- about 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- about 1/4 cup brown sugar
- about 2 Tbsp water
I heated all those items in the microwave for about a minute, then stirred until the sugar was melted. As it cooled, I sliced the pork.
I had roasted a boneless pork loin on the grill a couple of nights ago, rubbed with Italian herbs. I sliced off the herbed parts, and cut the remaining pound-and-a-half or so of meat into matchstick-sized pieces. I placed the meat bits in the dressing, and stirred, letting it soak while I softened the spring roll wrappers.
I figured rice paper wrappers were a lot like other rice noodles, which are soaked in hot water, and not boiled. I heated a skillet of water to almost-boiling, then turned down the heat to super-low. I soaked the wrappers, one at a time, only until pliable, lifting it out with a spatula, then holding it on the spatula until cool enough to grab, unwrinkled/unfolded the wrap, then placed it on a square of plastic wrap. I went through a lot of plastic wrap, because I put a layer between each soaked spring roll wrapper.
Then, I peeled and shredded five carrots, and cut about half a package of Dole Mediterranean blend salad into shreds. (Next time, I will use more lettuce.) I added that to the meat, and stirred to mix.
Then, I took a half-cup of the mix, and placed it on the wrapper, about an inch away from the edge closest to me. I rolled up that edge of the wrapper, then folded in the sides, then finished rolling the rest of it up.
Suprisingly, it only made 10 spring rolls. They were very meaty, filling rolls… All of us liked them — Martin, myself, and our two older boys Ethan & Grant. Wesley didn’t, but then, I didn’t expect that he would.
Next time, I will
- use more lettuce to stretch it a bit. They were too meaty even for my SuperCarnivore husband.
- I will also drain the excess dressing from the filling before I start using it — some of them ended up sort of soggy, and when the spring roll wrappers get soaked, they lose their strength.
Still, I would count this as a success, and look forward to making them again!