Two wrap-type recipes caught my eye in Sunset magazine. I adapted each of them a bit to suit my taste and available ingredients.
First, a chicken and papaya spring roll, which turned out to be a surprisingly filling meal, even though I used small rice papers and didn’t include rice noodles in the rolls. Here is my recipe for 8 rolls:
3 oz thin rice noodles – I omitted these
butter lettuce leaves – I used this strange, soft lettuce that is growing in the vegetable box in our garden
8-16 oz. roasted chicken – I bought already cooked, grilled chicken strips from Trader Joe’ s
1 medium papaya – you have to buy this in advance or luck into a ripe one as I did
mint leaves – having none, I used basil, or it could be omitted
spicy peanut or satay sauce – prepared and sold in jars or bottles
1/2 c. roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
2-3 green onions, sliced into this strips
8 rice paper sheets
If you are going to use the noodles, cook according to the package and drain.
Chop and prepare all of the ingredients so you can create an production line.
Set out a large bowl with boiling water and drop the rice paper sheet in for about 1 minute to soften. This was very easy with the corn-tortilla sized round that I had. I used a shallow bowl and dropped in one rice sheet at a time. I had to add or replace more boiling water as I went along.
Shake off the water and lay the rice paper on a plate. Be sure that it is soft around the edges. Place the ingredients, one by one, on the rice paper and squeeze some lime juice over the array. Then, fold the rice paper. The fold will depend on what shape and size you have. The rice wrapper sticks easily to itself and can even be unwrapped if you forgot to add something.
The original recipe suggests setting out all the ingredients and having your family or guests make their own. This way it’s easy for everyone to use the ingredients and amounts they prefer. I’ve made these twice now. Once I heated up the chicken and the other time, served it cold. They are quite yummy, no doubt due to the peanut sauce, but I guess you could put most anything in rice paper.
Tomorrow, Eggplant and Tahini Dressing in Flatbread