Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peconic Bay Scallops Recipe (Gluten Free)

The magic to Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peconic Bay Scallops is not only the fresh flavors from the "just plucked out of the bay" scallops, fresh mint and cilantro, diced cucumber and scallions or excitement on your tongue from the dipping sauce -- a melange of limey citrusy, salty fishy and hot -- but how easy it is to make a tasty and healthy meal in about 20 minutes. These Spring Rolls (also known as Salad Rolls) are like a warm Vietnamese scallop salad wrapped in a rice paper package. A gift on a plate and gluten-free.

Dice your herbs and vegetables and set up the ingredients before sauteing the scallops. I had scallions, cucumber, mint and cilantro on hand...shredded carrots, Savoy cabbage, bean sprouts, Thai basil, red pepper, avocado, shredded lettuce are some other ideas. Go wild.
I prefer to mix together a dipping sauce versus using calorie-rich bottled sauces such as peanut dipping sauce or hoisin. This one contains no oil. Juice of a lime, equal amounts of Vietnamese fish sauce and a pinky finger nail size dollop of A Taste of Thai Brand Red Curry Paste (or more to taste). Whisk together the ingredients.
Moisten your Spring Roll Wrapper - this is the hardest part  - by dipping into a bowl of room temperature water being careful not to over saturate the disk. Place the softened wrapper on your work area until you are ready to add the fillings. The wrappers are made of rice paper (gluten free) and imported from Vietnam (all these Asian Ingredients can be found in Chinese grocery stores typically at very low prices or ordered online at Amazon or Pacific Rim Gourmet.)
Quickly saute scallops in either olive oil or butter until they are just cooked through (of course, scallops can be substituted with shrimp, grilled pork, or for a vegan and gluten-free option, cooked rice vermicilli or other Asian cellophane noodles). Place your seafood, meat or noodle filling in the center of the softened rice paper wrapper.
Add a few diced vegetables, and then your herbs (I use whole leaves and removed the stems, of course) being careful not to over stuff your wrapper. 
Fold one side of the wrapper over the filling, then the other side so that the edges of the rice paper overlap to form a roll.
Close the ends of the roll by folding them towards the center the way you would gift wrapping a present. Pat down to make sure the sides of the rice paper are sticking to each other so the ingredients don't fall out. Use scallions and herbs as a garnish and serve with the dipping sauce in a small bowl on the side of the plate.

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