Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crab and Spinach Spring Rolls





Spring rolls are the chameleon of Asian cuisine. Crispy, crunchy and enormously satisfying, they make great appetizers and are surprisingly easy to prepare. They can be made using all kinds of ingredients, such as fresh vegetables, chicken, pork, shrimp and seafood — or even grilled bananas garnished with chocolate sauce! The possibilities are endless. 


Brimming with with flavour, this recipe for Crab and Spinach Spring Rolls is a new variation on the traditional Asian classic. Lovely served on their own with cocktails, or as an inspired first course with microgreens and shaved peppers, they can also be served alongside a hot bowl of Curried Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup, a wonderfully fragrant and velvety smooth soup that was featured on yesterday's blog. Traditionally served around Chinese New Year, known as the Spring Festival, these Crab and Spinach Spring Rolls are a popular appetizer and delicious anytime of the year.



Fresh crab from a Luang Prabang market in Laos



Crab and Spinach Springrolls
Makes 8 rolls

1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
8 oz. fresh or canned crabmeat
1 tbsp cilantro
4 oz. fresh spinach, wilted and chopped
8 springroll wrappers
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp water
sunflower oil
salt and white pepper

Place the mayonnaisein a
small bowl and beat in the mustard. Finely flake the crabmeat with a fork, removing any pieces of shell or cartilage as you go, then add to the mustard mayonnaise mixture. Add the cilantro and chopped spinach. Stir well to combine and season to taste.


Place a spring roll wrapper at an angle on a chopping board so that one of the corners points towards you. Brush around the edges with egg wash and then spoon about a tablespoon of the crab filling in a line near the top corner. Fold over to enclose and then roll it towards you a little. Fold in the sides and continue to roll up into a nice cylinder shape. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have eight spring rolls in total. Lightly brush with the remaining egg wash and chill for 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, pour enough of the oil into a deep-sided pan to a depth of 2-3" and heat until a small piece of white bread turns golden brown in about 30 seconds. Deep-fry the spring rolls for 3-4 minutes or until crisp on all sides and lightly golden. Drain well on kitchen paper. Using a sharp knife, slice each roll in half on a diagonal and set on a serving plate with a garnish of baby greens and a drizzle of hot chili sauce. Serve hot with the Curried Sweet Potato Leek and Coconut Soup. And for dessert...





Banana Chocolate Spring Rolls
Serves 8

8 large 7" square spring roll wrappers
4 small ripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
sunflower oil

Peel and slice the bananas in half lengthwise, then crosswise into fourths. Place on piece of banana diagonally across the corner of a spring roll wrapper and sprinkle with brown sugar to taste. Roll from the corner to the centre, then fold top and bottom corners in, and continue rolling. Dip your fingers in water and brush the last edge to seal. Repeat with the remaining banana pieces.

When ready to serve, pour enough of the oil into a deep-sided pan to a depth of 2-3" and heat until a small piece of white bread turns golden brown in about 30 seconds. Deep-fry a few of the the spring rolls at a time for about 3-4 minutes or until crisp on all sides and evenly golden. Drain well on kitchen paper. Serve hot or cold garnished with some chocolate sauce or whipped cream. OMG — they are mouth wateringly delicious!