Friend’s birthdays must be celebrated with incredible amounts of food. A slice of birthday cake and some bbq chicken simply isn’t sufficient, so I baked these little Thai spring rolls up along with bbq ribs (yes, I mix my cuisines with abandon) and took them to the park. I love how these are delicious, simple, and quite healthy. They’re baked, not fried, filled with shrimp, rice noodles, and vegetables, then topped with a spicy Thai peanut sauce. If you’re looking to pair these with wine, I’d suggest a cold riesling or muscat. The light fruitiness of it would go great with the shrimp, and the sweetness really works with the spiciness of the peanut sauce. Even without wine, these didn’t take very long, and I couldn’t stop eating them. It’s a miracle any made it to the party, really.
Start by cooking the shrimp. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add a little soy sauce for salt and color, and cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes, until cooked through. Remove them from the pot, leaving the soy water in the pot. Put the shrimp on a cutting board to cool, then peel and chop roughly.
Meanwhile, return the soy water to a boil, and cook the rice noodles according to package directions. When done, drain, then chop into short pieces, about 2″ long.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, chili paste, and sugar. Once combined, toss with the cucumber, carrot, cilantro, and mint.
If you’re using rice paper won-ton wrappers, fill a pie plate with water and let each wrapper soak for 10 seconds before wrapping. If using the egg roll wrappers I used, just lay them on your work surface and brush the edges with water. Place 1/4 cup of the vegetable mixture on the bottom 1/3 of the wrapper nearest to you, arranging the cucumbrs in a roughly straight line. Spoon 2 tablespoons chopped shrimp on top of the vegetables. Top with 1/4 cup noodles.
Bring the bottom edge of the wrap tightly over the filling.
Fold in the two sides, then finish rolling bottom to top until the entire wrapper is rolled. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake according to package directions, or leave raw if desired.
While they bake, mix up a quick peanut sauce. Blend together peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic chili paste, garlic powder, ginger powder, onion powder, tamarind pulp (optional, omit if you can’t find it), fish sauce, brown sugar, coconut milk, and sesame oil.
Once baked, top spring rolls with peanut sauce.
Thai Shrimp Spring Rolls
- Spring Rolls
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce divided
- 1 pound unpeeled large shrimp
- 5 ounces thin rice stick noodles
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 large cucumber cut into matchsticks
- 1 large carrot peeled and grated
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh mint chopped
- 12 round rice paper wrappers or egg roll wrappers 8 1/2-inch
- Peanut sauce
- 5 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
Bring 1/2 gallon of water to a boil in a large pot set over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add the shrimp and cook until just firm, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the cooked shrimp to a cutting board and cool for 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, devein, and coarsely chop. Set aside.
Return the water-soy sauce to a boil. Add noodles to the hot soy-water. Cook until tender, approximately 3 minutes. Drain the noodles in a colander, then cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces with a knife or kitchen shears.
Meanwhile, whisk the lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, chili paste, and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, carrot, cilantro, and mint and toss to combine.
If using rice paper wrappers, fill a pie dish with warm water. Dip 1 rice paper wrapper into the water for 10 seconds, then transfer to a cutting board until the wrapper is pliable and slightly tacky, approximately 1 minute.
Place 1/4 cup of the vegetable mixture on the bottom 1/3 of the wrapper nearest to you. Spoon 2 tablespoons chopped shrimp on top of the vegetables. Top with 1/4 cup noodles. Bring the bottom edge of the wrap tightly over the filling, and then fold in the 2 sides. Finish rolling from bottom to top until the entire wrapper is rolled. Be careful not to tear the rice paper. Place on a parchment-lined half sheet pan and cover with a damp tea towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers until the filling is gone.
If using egg roll wrappers, bake according to package directions.
To make peanut sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or small bowl with a whisk, and blend until thoroughly mixed.