It’s springtime finally. Why not celebrate with a little Asian/Northwest fusion?
It’s still Dungeness crab season in Oregon so grab some cooked dungeness crab and use it to stuff Vietnamese-style spring rolls. They’re a great way of showcasing the sweet and succulent flavor of the crab meat.
The rolls are fun and easy to make. And along with noodles, spring salad mix and endless options for adding other veggies like julienned carrot, julienned cucumbers, julienned celery, spring onions, cilantro, and even chili peppers if you’re inclined to spicy, you can customize the spring rolls to your heart’s desire.
For added fun, if you’re hosting a dinner party, you can provide all of the stuffing ingredients and pre-make the sauce and then let each guest roll his or her own spring rolls.
In addition to crab, you can use ready-made Chinese barbecue pork that you can buy pre-cooked and pre-sliced at many area grocery stores, cooked shelled and deveined shrimp and even roasted chicken breast.
And if you’re inclined to go totally veggie, you can use seitan or savory firm tofu.
Dungeness Crab Spring Rolls
For 4 rolls
¼ pound lump Dungeness crab meat
4 round sheets of tapioca flour Vietnamese spring roll wrappers
1 cup spring salad mix
1 cup bean sprouts
8 mint leaves
4 chive leaves
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons (30 ml.) sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups boiled thin rice noodles (mai fun)
Make the dipping sauce by combining fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar and minced garlic in a bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Fill a pie dish or flat-bottomed bowl halfway with water.
Working with one wrapper at a time, slide the wrapper into the water and press it lightly, submerging it and letting it absorb the water.
As soon as the wrapper begins to soften and become pliable, remove it from the water, shake off the excess, and lay it on your working surface.
Place some spring salad mix on top of the wrapper, about an inch away from the edge closest to you, then place some of the rice noodles on top of the lettuce and then add some bean sprouts. Add some crab meat and then top with two mint leaves and a piece of chive.
Bring the wrapper over the filling and roll about an inch, then fold the left and right sides of the roll towards the middle and finish rolling the rest of the way.
After you’ve finished with all of the rolls, place rolls on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve with the dipping sauce. You can garnish the plate with more of the spring salad mix if you like.
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