Easy Shiitake Spring Rolls
These rolls are bright, crunchy and refreshing. If you've never made a spring roll do not hesitate to try this. The technique is fairly simple and can be adapted to any fresh filling.
10-15 dried Shiitake
10 or more round dried rice paper sheets
2 oz. dried cellophane noodles
½ lb. fresh bean sprouts
1 small cucumber, cut into match sticks
1 carrot, grated
4 Tbsp. chopped peanuts
½ c. chopped cilantro
Pour boiling water over the dried Shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and let them soak for 20 minutes or more. Drain away the liquid (keeping it for another use if desired). Squeeze and blot the the Shiitake with toweling to absorb the extra moisture. Thinly slice all of the mushrooms, discarding the stems.
Pour boiling water over the cellophane noodles and let them soak for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Prepare and assemble all the vegetables, noodles and peanuts; have all the little bowls set in a line for easy filling.
Fill a cake pan with warm water and dip the rice sheets, one at a time, into the water (make sure they are covered with water) to soften; about 30-90 seconds. Lift each sheet out with tongs and set out flat on a dish towel (soften each additional sheet as you work in filling them, one at a time).
Filling the sheets:
In the center of a softened rice sheet, layer the fillings (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup total) in a cigar shape in the center of the paper. Roll up the bottom, tuck in the sides and continue to roll to make a translucent, plump egg roll shape. Cut roll in half and serve with Pineapple Dipping Sauce.
Pineapple Dipping Sauce:
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
Juice from 1 lemon
Dab of chili oil or chili paste, or a fresh red chili, de-seeded and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz. crushed pineapple, canned with juice
Mix all ingredients together (including pineapple juice). Divide into beautiful little bowls or saucers for individual dipping.