filing for spring rolls?
I plan on making them for the first time this weekend using rice paper (not the fried variety). I'm looking for filing suggestions- some funky, some more simple- I have a few fussy eaters here.
Final question- has anyone made spring rolls with some sort of cheese inside?
I've never thought about using cheese - I'm not certain I'd like the texture even tho cheese is my number one favorite thing to eat. When I make them, I use the basic cellophane noodle, napa cabbage, carrot mixture and then I start adding things - mint is good as is cilantro if you like it, shrimp or firm white fish or tuna, different veggies - I go to the store and see what they have that looks good. I've been toying with the idea of fruit too - mango or papaya.
Texture is my big problem with the cheese idea, too. That and I just can't think of a cheese flavor that would work with the usual "salad" sort of ingredients you use in summer rolls. I could see cheese working well in the right fried roll, but not the uncooked ones. If I were going to try it, I think I'd stick to something aged, blue or otherwise strong-flavored as a seasoning/accent rather than the ingredient meant to provide "bite" (like the shrimp or pork in traditional recipes.)
Oh these are about one of my favorite appetizers to eat.
I use soft lettuce, mint, cilantro, basil, pink shrim, bean sprouts, cellophane noodles,carrots, avocado, cucumber. Dipping sauces, are many.
But you could even use, cooked chicken and turkey, radish sprouts, avocado, bacon and cream cheese. Dipping sauces could be salad dressings - raspberry poppy seed, or soy and fish sauce, rice vinegar with sugar, chilies and garlic.
And I am on a pineapple kick this week, so you could even use cooked pork with grilled pineapple and then all or any of the toppings, smear with hoisin.
I've always done summer rolls as a make-your-own type of thing, with a bowl of hot water to soften the rice paper and then a bunch of little bowls with filling options, allowing people to make whatever they like. This works best with a small group, six or less, because everybody needs to be able to reach everything. I've usually used chopped up chicken (leftover soup chicken, actually), very thin rice noodles, mint, basil, parsley (I hate cilantro, and avoid it, but it would be the more authentic option), chopped scallions, shredded carrots, red leaf lettuce, and chopped roasted peanuts as my filling options. I could certainly see putting in plenty of other things - slivered cucumber, chopped tropical fruits like mango, water chestnuts, chopped cooked beef, chopped scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, tofu, etc. Cheese seems pretty unappealing, though.
I always serve mine with this peanut sauce. It's a bit more complicated to make than other dipping sauces (you could easily serve yours with a dipping sauce of lime juice and zest, nam pla, and a little sugar), but it's very good - my husband eats it out of the fridge with a spoon when I'm not looking, so I can't keep any leftovers!
3 small dried chilis, stemmed and seeded, or to taste
3 cloves garlic
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon peanut oil, or other neutral oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons nam pla or soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
Puree the first five ingredients in a minichopper or food processor until smooth-ish. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and saute the paste for about a minute, or until it starts to smell really good. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth, then simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes. You can keep this in the fridge (if nobody eats it!) for a week or so, but serve it warm as it's very thick and not dipping/spreading-friendly when cold.
I have done it with cheese but while I liked it, it didn't go over well with others.
I've used any combination of the following:
strips of carrot, zuchinni, eggplant, broccoli stems (lightly steamed until tender/crisp)
grilled chicken, pork, or beef (cut into thin strips)
daeng myon (Korean sweet potato noodle)
various types of Asian sausage
pickled daikon ( http://www.chow.com/recipes/12006