Having temporarily lost the use of one arm does not mean we are going to starve or start buying the food that made us sick for so many years! Besides, since I am trapped and bound for four loong weeks, I might as well get used to this new way of life. So yes, we can and yes, I did, I made spring rolls yesterday, albeit sloooowly, and with the contribution of my husband for the final step, as there was no way I could roll the wrappers with only one hand. I am sharing some tips for othef unfortunate one-arm cooks like me down below in the recipe ! There were several reasons for me to decide to make spring rolls :
- I had cooked chicken waiting in the fridge, leftover from that fatal Humpty Dumpty day
- It was hot again and I was trying to avoid using the stove too much
- We have mint growing in the garden
- We hadn’t had spring rolls in a while
- No fork and knife are required to eat them !
The only difference with the ones in the photo, taken two years ago when the recipe was originally posted in French, was that I didn’t have any shrimp to put in them. By the way, remember, you CAN find sulfite-free shrimp in the frozen section of your food store!
Ingredients: (for 8 spring rolls)
For the filling:
– 8 rice sheets / spring rolls wrappers – sulfite intolerant people should make sure they are 100% rice, not made with tapioca starch
– 75 g (= 2.6 oz) rice vermicelli or noodles
– 1 carrot, washed and scrubbed, but not peeled if organic
– 80 g (= 2.8 oz) cooked chicken, shredded (I usually take leftovers from a roast chicken)
– 8 cooked, shelled sulfite-free shrimp, cut lengthwise to prevent tearing of the wrapper (optional)
– 8 smooth lettuce leaves
– 8 fresh mint leaves, chopped
For the dipping sauce:
– 4 TBSP rice vinegar
– 5 TBSP water
– ½ tsp all natural sea salt, untreated
– 1 tsp pure agave nectar, organic
– a few fresh mint leaves, chopped
– homemade hot pepper, or finely chopped fresh hot pepper (optional)
HELPFUL NOTES FOR UNFORTUNATE ONE-ARM COOKS :
To chop mint leaves, place inside a mug at a comfortable level for better control and cut with scissors.
To use your measuring spoons, balance them over two even containers, such as shown below. It helps to have all the spoons in a bunch, rather than separate elements, because I was able to rest them over the side of the glass jar, blocking the whole lot.
1. Cook rice vermicelli / noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and cut up into short strands.
2. Combine all dipping sauce ingredients and set aside.
3. Coarsely grate carrot. Even this can be done single-handed!
I placed the grate inside a large enough pan placed at a comfortable level on a stool, blocked one end against my thigh and voilà!
4. Mix vermicelli, mint, carrot and shredded chicken. I don’t add salt at this point since the sauce will take care of that.
5. Soak one rice sheet in a pan full of very warm water, carefully remove from water when soft, spread out on a plate, and place the next wrapper to soak while you proceed.
6. If using shrimp, place two halves on softened rice sheet.
7. Place lettuce leaf towards the bottom of rice sheet. Add a small amount of filling.
8. Start rolling wrapper with lettuce leaf, somewhat tightly, in order to create a double lining for your roll. Fold left and right sides in, and finish rolling. Keep on a slightly oiled plate, otherwise your spring rolls will cling to one another! Repeat steps 5 to 8 until all wrappers are filled. Of course, you can use whatever tickles your fancy for the filling: chopped peanuts, shredded kohlrabi, … Anything, provided the ingredients are safe for you, dear neighbors!
Also note that you can make your rolls ahead but then will need to wrap them individually in plastic. These have no preservatives and do not keep for more than a day!