March 7, 2013
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This week in the Homemade Happy Hour series from Ginger Bear Kitchen I’m bringing you shrimp spring rolls and mojitos! A light and fresh combination. With spring break right around the corner, I’ve been longing for warm weather and this combination definitely put me in a summertime state of mind.
Spring roll wrappers can be a bit difficult to handle just because they are so super thin. As long as you go into making spring rolls with the right mind set and some patience you’ll be fine. I always make sure to have extra wrappers on hand when I make spring rolls because it’s inevitable that I’m going to rip one or get one all folded up on itself.
Mojitos are great citrusy cocktails for summer afternoons. They can be altered so easily to fit your mood as well. I like putting a couple basil leaves in mine to give them a slight hint of the herb. Muddling fruit, such as strawberries or blackberries, with the lime leaves is also a great spin on this drink. I had some Thai basil in the fridge when I made these and threw in a couple leaves to compliment the mint.
Let’s talk about the technique of rolling spring rolls. Get a plate or clean counter for your work surface and spread the softened spring roll wrapper over the plate, making sure none of the edges are folded over or excessively wrinkled. Then place a cylinder shape of the filling on the third of the wrapper closest to you.
After adding all the filling, fold the edge closest to me over the cylinder of filling.
Take both sides and fold them towards the center, as if rolling a burrito.
Gently, but tightly, roll the spring roll away from yourself until you reach the end of the wrapper. Done! Place assembled spring rolls on a plate or cutting board while you assemble the remaining rolls.
Here’s a picture of the spring roll wrappers I used.
Shrimp Spring Rolls with Soy Ginger Sauce + Mojitos
- 1 cup grated carrot
- ½ cup chopped spinach, lightly packed
- ½ cup grated jicama
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
- 8 spring roll wrappers
- 10 steamed shrimp (I used frozen 31-40 count per pound)
- handful of cilantro leaves
soy-ginger dipping sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil (vegetable would work too)
- ½ teaspoon hot chili oil
- ½ teaspoon thinly sliced green onions
- pinch of sugar
- 6 fresh lime leaves
- 2 Thai basil leaves (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons simple syrup
- 2 ½ ounces light rum
- 2 ounces club soda
For the spring rolls: Mix the grated carrot, spinach, grated jicama and green onions in a medium bowl. Cut steamed shrimp in half lengthwise.
Fill a cake pan or skillet with lukewarm water for softening the spring roll wrappers. I like to soften my wrappers one at a time as I assemble the spring rolls.
Place one spring roll wrapper in the water and allow to sit for 30-45 seconds until softened. Smooth softened spring roll wrapper on a clean surface or plate. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the vegetable mixture on the third of the wrapper closest to you. You want the filling to be in the shape of a cylinder with the long edge facing you (see above photos).
Place a few cilantro leaves (to your liking) on top of the veggies and then top with three shrimp halves. Fold the edge of the wrapper closest to you over the long side of the filling cylinder. Then fold the sides towards the middle (like a burrito) to hold the filling inside. Tightly but gently roll the spring roll away from you until you reach the end of the wrapper. Set finished spring rolls on a plate and assemble the remaining rolls until no filling remains.
Serve with soy ginger dipping sauce (recipe below).
Spring rolls are best right after assembly and will stay fresh for a few hours covered in plastic wrap on the counter. Storing them in the fridge will dry out the wrapper a bit. Spring rolls have a tendency to stick together as well so keep this in mind when storing them. Try wrapping them individually or separating them with plastic wrap.
For the dipping sauce: Combine all ingredients in a half pint jar and shake until combined.
For the mojitos: Put mint leaves (and Thai basil, if using) in the bottom of a glass with lime juice and simple syrup. Muddle well with the back of a spoon or muddler to release the mint flavor. Fill the glass with ice and add the rum and club soda. Stir briefly and garnish with a lime slice.
Recipe by Ellie at Ginger Bear Kitchen
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