Salmon Rice Paper Rolls

Rice Paper Rolls

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

As you know I recently received a lovely box of goodies for the team at Huon Aquaculture to partake in their Huon Blogger Challenge. The Huon Blogger Challanage brings together 30 Australian Food Bloggers with the challenge for them to create and post a versatile, year-round recipe using Huon Reserve Selection. Lucky me!!

Which I sat pondering (and I won’t lie munching on some delicious salmon straight from the packet) I got to thinking about rice paper rolls – this healthy snack is the perfect weekend treat, fresh weeknight dinner, stylish finger food for guests or great for the kid’s lunch-boxes as an exciting alternative sandwiches. It’s also helpful to have a quick and delicious finger food recipe up your sleeve for when unexpected friends and family do the much feared ‘drop-in’. With Australia’s mild winters and the current craze of Vietnamese cuisine a refreshing rice paper is always a crowd pleaser. So plate up this bad boy and  you’ve got yourself a little celebration on a plate!

Ingredients – Rice Paper Rolls

  •  10 rice paper wrappers – there is over this amount in a standard packet
  •  250g of Huon Reserve Selection Hot Smoked Ocean Trout
  • 5 fresh, cooked Australian prawns – peeled and halved length ways
  • 3 carrots – cut into long, thin batons
  • 1 cucumber – cut into long, thin batons
  • 1 avocado – cut into long, thin batons
  • 20 sprigs of coriander
  • 10 shoots of green shallot
  • 100g rice paper noodles – cooked as per packet instructions

Ingredients – Thai Style Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tsp organic crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tbs of sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbs of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of honey
  • the juice of half a lime

Method

  1. Fill a large flat bowl with hot water, I like to use my quiche dish, and place the rice paper wrappers in the water one at a time for about 30 seconds or until soft and pliable. Don’t leave for too long or the wrapper may tear.
  2. Place rice paper wrapper on a damp tea towel – the dampness is essential so the wrapper doesn’t stick. Top alternating wrapper with Huon Reserve Selection Hot Smoked Ocean Trout and 3 of the prawn halves. Top with coriander and add a little of the cucumber, carrot, avocado and a sprig of green shallot. Fold in sides, one end and roll up firmly to enclose filling. Place onto a plate and loosely cover with a another damp tea towel, repeat to make 10 rice-paper rolls.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the Thai Style Peanut Dipping Sauce add all ingredients to a small sauce dish and mix until well combined.
  4. Place rice paper rolls onto a large serving plate and serve with Thai Style Peanut Dipping Sauce.

Enjoy!

Caramel Chicken

Image: Super Food Ideas – August 2011, Page 61. Photography by Mark O’Meara.

Caramelised Chicken or ga kho is a sticky, sweet and spicy Vietnamese dish. And, before you get freaked out by the words Caramel and Chicken appearing alongside each other, it is savoury caramel rather than a sweet caramel. So don’t worry you won’t be tucking into a bowl of Jersey Caramels with a side of chicken thigh!

This Vietnamese style savoury caramel sauce weaves together the perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour and spicy by making a caramel using sweet brown sugar, salty fish sauce, sour lime juice and spicy chilies along with some garlic which reduces to a glaze while it cooks, for a full flavour punch. Delicious.

Ingredients – Caramel Chicken

  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 800g chicken thigh fillets –  trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • Steamed rice to serve

Ingredients – Pickled Cucumber

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbss caster sugar
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers – cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 green onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of cold water

Method

  1. To make the pickled cucumber, place the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, add cucumber, stir to combine and set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the green onion.
  2. Place the chicken and oil in a bowl and toss to combine. Heat a large frying pan or wok over a high heat until hot. Add half the chicken and cook for two minutes on one side until lightly browned, turn and cook for another minute. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add a little extra peanut oil if needed. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken to the pan, add the soy sauce, chilli flakes and stir to combine.
  4. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high, add the sugar and stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce is rich, dark and syrupy.
  5. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and stir to combine.
  6. Place in a serving dish and serve with steamed rice and pickled cucumber.

Enjoy!

15 Minute Monday – Asian Steamed Sea Bream

Image: delicious. - October 2012, Page 46. Photographer: Ben Dearnley.

 

Asian steamed sea bream with spring onion and ginger uses the bright flavours of Asia to make this fast, fresh midweek dinner irresistible!

Ingredients

  • 2 x 150g bream fillets
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 3cm piece ginger, finely shredded
  • 1 each long red and green chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 6 spring onions, finely shredded
  • Coriander leaves and steamed rice, to serve

Method

  1. Place a plate inside a bamboo steamer and lay the fish, skin-side down, on the plate. Place the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and stir to combine, then pour over the fish. Scatter the ginger, chilli and half the spring onion over the fish. Set the steamer over a large saucepan or wok of simmering water and cover with the lid. Steam for 6 minutes or until the fish is opaque and just cooked.
  2. Garnish the fish with coriander and remaining spring onion, then drizzle over the cooking juices and serve with rice.

Enjoy!

Mulligatawny

Mulligatawny is an Anglo-Indian soup which translates literally from Tamil “Mulligatawny” or “Milagu thanni” to “pepper water”; With “Millagu” meaning pepper and “thanni” meaning water.

This is a rich and delicious soup, full of flavour and the sweetness of the apple is a divine.

Interesting, Dr. Seuss used the term to refer to a fanciful creature in his book If I Ran the Zoo. The young wannabe zookeeper says, “I’ll capture them wild and I’ll capture them scrawny, I’ll capture a scraggle-foot mulligatawny”.

Ingredients

  • 1 brown onion – diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs curry powder – I used Clive of India
  • 1L chicken stock – bought or homemade if you have the time. I recommend Campbells
  • 360g chicken thighs – trimmed and halved
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled and finely grated
  • 2/3 of a cup of red lentils OR a two person serve of 90 second microwave brown rice
  • 270ml can of lite coconut milk or coconut evaporated milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • Fresh coriander leaves and cracked black pepper to serve
  • Optional: naan or pappadums to serve

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened and slightly translucent.
  3. Add curry powder and cook until fragrant. This will take around 30 seconds. The point of doing this is to release the flavours from the spices as they toast. Many are activated by heat and not toasting them will result in a dull flavour.
  4. Add the chicken and turn to coat and brown.
  5. Add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken, place in a bowl and shred using a fork.
  7. Return the chicken to the pot and add the apple, lentils/rice and coconut milk.
  8. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
  9. Add the lemon juice, ladle into bowls and top with coriander leaves and freshly cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of gunk 
  • 1 brown onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbs of curry paste – you can buy it or make your own it really depends on how time you have
  • 1 tps salt
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g snow peas
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2L chicken stock – again, you can buy it or make your own it really depends on how time you have
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • fish sauce
  • soy sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  • tamarind paste

Method

  1. Add chicken thighs, 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped, brown onion roughly chopped, curry paste, 2 eggs, the stalks of the fresh coriander, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 1 tsp salt and approximately 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs to a food processor. Blitz until will combined, but not complete mush. You may need to add more breadcrumbs to the mix depending on the consistency of the mixture – you could like it to feel like mince meat by the end.
  2. Roll into small balls, I made mine approx 2-3 cm wide so they could be eaten whole.
  3. Precook the balls, now you can do this a few ways but I would recommend either popping them in the oven as I did – oven at 180C, place them on baking paper with a light spray of oil and cook until golden, turning mid way through. Or, you can cook them in a pan – make sure the pan is on a medium to high heat and that the pan is well oiled and wiped clean between batches so it doesn’t smoke.
  4. Now, for the broth. If you have the time make a chicken stock it is worth it, if you don’t pay the little extra for something good, not full or numbers and made using actual chicken. Heat a splash of olive oil and sesame oil in a pot, add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic crushed and stir until it starts to sizzle, add the stock, using a cooking spoon as a meausre, you know the big kind you stir stuff with when you cook, add one cooking spoon of soy sauce, oyster sauce, 1/2 spoon of fish sauce, 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes, 2 tsp of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp tamarind paste and the juice of half a lime and allow to simmer.
  5. Add the meatballs, they should still be warm from the precooking, and whole snow-peas topped and tailed and the red capsicum cut into long strips.
  6. Taste the broth and adjust the flavours as needed, the precise measurements will vary every time depending on the flavour of your stock. Allow to simmer until the broth and meatballs are hot and the veggies are cooked to your desired tenderness, I like them quite crunchy so this is only about 2-3 minutes for me.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with fresh coriander and serve with lime wedges.

Note: I realise the Thai don’t actually use chopsticks I just like to eat the chunky bits with them and sip the broth from the bowl.

Enjoy!