a.k.a. Actual Spring Rolls are a Real Pain in the Butt
The spring roll thing, I mean. I purchased a package of 25 spring roll wrappers, and it was around spring roll #20 when I quit.
Isn’t that terrible? I made it through 20 spring rolls and yet I couldn’t muster up the energy to get through just 5 more! To be fair, it was 8:00 at night. And I was tired. I went to Wal-mart after 5 P.M. on a weekday and it stole my joy. Also my back ached. Because assembling and rolling 20 spring rolls takes a lot of time. Too much time, in my opinion.
I mean, I don’t know. I guess if you’re good at rolling things (heh heh), then maybe you will excel at rolling spring rolls, too. Unfortunately, when it comes to Spring Rolls 101, I give myself an F+ (+ for effort because again, at least I tried). As I have said before, if I can’t even fold a t-shirt properly, why did I think I would be able to accomplish the whole tuck and roll technique with rice paper?
This is one of those recipes that are great for the end of the week if you happen to have some random ingredients laying around. In my case it was cilantro, lettuce, red bell pepper, and some shrimp that have been sitting in the back of my freezer probably since we moved in. I also already had the spring roll wrappers (a random purchase when I went to Central Market “only for ice cream” and spent $78). This inspired my not-so-genius spring roll idea. I ran out and grabbed the rice noodles, mint, red cabbage, and carrots, and for an additional $4.50, I had Friday night dinner! The good news is, we have 20 spring rolls to snack on for about 2-3 days. But our dinner for the evening looked more like this:
Prep/cooking time for actual spring rolls: I dunno, 2 hours probably? They took forever and I hated them.
Prep/cooking time for deconstructed spring rolls: 10 minutes. Now we’re talking.
This recipe is so easy, and the combination of veggies with fresh cilantro and mint creates a perfect light and refreshing meal that makes me feel like I could run around the block a couple of times after eating it. I mean, I can’t and I won’t, because I’m fairly out of shape. But I feel like I could.
- 4 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
- ½ lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked
- 2 green onions, chopped lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ small head purple cabbage, shredded
- 6 romaine leaves
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
- Trader Joe's Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
- Prepare rice noodles according to package directions.
- Peel and prep shrimp. (I bought mine pre-cooked to save time).
- Rinse and chop desired veggies/toppings.
- Tear romaine leaves into smaller pieces and drop into the bottom of your two bowls.
- Divide the prepared vermicelli noodles between the two bowls and place on top of the romaine.
- Top with remaining veggies, mint, cilantro, and scallions.
- When you're ready to eat, drizzle with vinaigrette.
P.S. As if this recipe isn’t simple enough, I went ahead and used store bought dressing. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you may check the international aisle of your local grocer for something similar like this peanut sauce for instance. Or, if you’re up to it, there are many great recipes for peanut vinaigrette on Pinterest.