I really, REALLY wanted to make something luscious and fattening on this post, but I am really afraid that Josh may bust in my door and start throwing away food in my pantry like the NBC show “Losing it with Jillian”. I would be in the fetal position while he threw away non-organic foods or my Baked Lays. So I made something that is good for you and really easy to make – Thai Basil Rolls.
I had never made these so it was actually fun to do something different. I did learn a few things though, let me share that with you:
* Rice Paper Wrappers – I could only find these at Whole Foods and/or World Market. My favorite store, Publix, doesn’t roll that way.
* Carrots – I used the already cut matchstick carrots from Publix – if I had to cut carrots this small, my fingers would be cut to shreds. I would blanch (bath in boiling, salted water for 1 minute and then dropped in ice water) them though – makes them softer and easier to fold.
* Bean Threads – these are also called cellophane noodles. These babies are slippery when wet. I would use scissors to cut the amount you need for your roll.
Now, let’s get this recipe rollin’!
Thai Basil Rolls
1 package rice paper wrappers (spring roll)
1 package bean threads
1 carrot cut into thin strips
1 package bean sprouts
2 cups bibb lettuce, shredded (I used butter lettuce)
2 scallions, sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves, whole (I had Thai basil in the garden)
2 cups chicken, shredded (optional)
Basic Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Thai chili, sliced
To make the sauce – place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
To begin, organize your ingredients in order of how you would place it on the roll. Following package directions, place a sheet of rice paper in a shallow dish of warm water for 10-15 seconds or until the sheet is soft and pliable.
Place on a damp tea towel. Place a small amount of each ingredient (except the basil) on one side of the sheet. But place 3 leaves of basil on the opposite end (you’ll see why).
Begin by slowly rolling the sheet and folding in the sides to encase the ingredients.
Place the rolls seam side down on a damp towel or plate with a spritz of cooking spray. (These babies will stick to anything!) With a sharp, wet knife, slice the roll into halves. Serve with dipping sauce.
#1 – I added sriracha and garlic chili paste to the dipping sauce rather than Thai chilis and reduced the lime juice to one lime. Added a richer kick. Also, I used a store-bought sweet and sour sauce for something different.
#2 – I added chicken to the rolls for the non-vegetarian version.
Wanna make a meal out of it?
Ray and I made a meal out of these tasty rolls, so I stir-fried some snow peas in a wok with teaspoon of olive oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil. Added some sesame seeds, salt and pepper near the end. Fresh and tasty.
Also, I had left over bead thread noodles, other ingredients and dipping sauce so I made a little noodle bowl. Stir-fry the remaining veggies in your wok with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the remaining sauce of your choice (I choose the sriracha sauce I made). Lastly, add the remaining bean threads. Combine and serve with a garnish of cilantro.
I hope you try these. They are easier than it looks. Make it a party – let people make their own roll. These are supposed to be fun. Well, gotta go. I just opened a bag of Baked Cheetos and I could have sworn I heard the pitter-patter of little squirrel feet outside my door. 😉