Friday, August 19, 2011

Jasmine Tea Poached Shrimp Summer Rolls

Here's the scene: August afternoon, we're hungry, we're hot, we're tired. I open the fridge and pull out a plate of chilled Jasmine Tea Poached Shrimp Summer Rolls with a tangy plum sauce. The rice wrapper is light and the rosy shrimp show through, along with fresh carrot strips, avocado and tea infused noodles.
Jasmine Tea Poached Shrimp Summer Rolls

It's too appealing to dismiss, but a little different (aka: not a sandwich), so my teenage son pauses to reconsider. My husband sits down right away (always my willing taste-tester.) The scene ends with a completely empty plate, slightly blotched with plum drippings from the less-than-elegant grab-fest that ensued. There is so much to love about summer rolls. I avoided making these for awhile, thinking the process would take so much time. It really doesn't take very long at all.

There is no frying or baking involved with wrappers:

1) Quick (approx. 20 seconds) dunk in shallow warm water - add a little swirl.

2) Layer on your dry ingredients and roll it up.

Once you've done one or two, you'll get into a groove and be rolling like a pro. The thin rice wrapper gives you the mouth-feel and slight chew of bread without - you know - bread. The ingredients can be your choosing (and a great way to use up refrigerator leftovers, veggies and sauces.)

Now, a note about the tea: I had the pleasure of heading the catering for an exquisite tea shop/salon (now online at a couple years ago and learned about tea from one of the best ( Gail Baral.) During those couple of years, I developed recipes using all teas (black, green, oolong, rooibos, tisane and matcha) as ingredients, infusions and accents. (This is Jasmine Pearl Tea - named because the tender green tea leaves are hand-rolled into little pearls that bloom with flavor as they are heated in the warm water)

Cooking with tea is precise if you really want it to taste right, and temperature is one of the most important factors. Boiling tea will result in a bitter bite, so take care with using it as a poaching technique to not boil, but keep it just below that point. It results in a fragrant and tasty infusion, especially with shrimp.

I made these Shrimp Summer Rolls in the evening, covered them with a slightly dampened paper towel and loosely wrapped the plate with plastic wrap. They are at their absolute best served just after a small chill, but were still excellent from a short overnight stay, too. Keeping them moist, but not wet, is important so the wrapper doesn't become dry or gummy.
These were created for this month's Let's Lunch bunch (my global group of food friends that post each month and share a virtual lunch together.) This month's lunch theme was "Cold Entree".

I love making chilled entrees and here are a few other items on my blog:
Apple Bowl Curry Soup
Tea Smoked Salmon
Carrot & Cucumber Ribbon Salad
Peach Caprese Salad
Chillin' it With Herbs

Also, for the next few days you can be assured of seeing many unique and globally inspired lunch ideas from our blogging-band-of-lunch-buddies.

Check out some of them here (and also by typing in #LetsLunch on twitter to see the round-up, or join in for next month.)

Cold Entrees from warm friends:

A Tiger In The Kitchen - Spicy Sichuan Sesame Noodles

Monday Morning Cooking Club- Byron Sprout Salad w/Char-grilled Chicken

Gronger Blog - Lamb and Memory

Be A Wok Star - Hoisin Pork, Shrimp and Colorful Vegetables

Free Range Cookies - Gazpacho Rolls

Cooking In The Fruit Bowl - Strawberry Soup

A Taste Of Oregon - Seafood Napoleon
also - Cold Olive Oil Poached Chicken

Maria's Good Things - Croque Monsieur

Beyond The Plate - Couscous with Cilantro Pesto and Halloumi

Hot Curries & Cold Beer - Gazpacho with an Indian Twist

Dreaming of Pots and Pans - Korean Ice Water Noodles

RECIPE: Jasmine Tea Poached Shrimp Summer Rolls

(this makes about 6 full rolls)

6-8 Large Shrimp (raw, peeled or tail on)

4 cups well brewed Jasmine Tea (2-3 cups for shrimp, 1-2 cups for noodles)


Rice Wrappers (found in grocery stores or Asian Markets)
1 Carrot (peeled and shredded or use peeler for thin strips)

1/2 Avocado (sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice to keep the color)

A few leaves of fresh arugula or other greens

2 Spring Onions (white and some green sliced)

1-2 ozs Rice Noodles/ Rice Sticks or Cellophane Noodles

2 Tbls. Rice Vinegar

1) In a deep sided pan on Med Heat, add the Shrimp and enough brewed Jasmine Tea to just cover them. Season with salt and pepper. Heat to almost boiling and cook for 5-8 minutes. Don't overcook the shrimp or they will be rubbery. Drain and Chill the shrimp for at least 30 minutes (or can be held overnight.) Once chilled, slice the shrimp in half (length-wise head-to-tail.)

2) In a bowl, add the Rice Noodles, 1 cup of the brewed tea and enough boiling water to cover the noodles plus a few inches for them to swirl around in. Cover and allow them to steep/cook in the liquid for 5 minutes. Drain and keep the noodles in the bowl, adding the Rice Vinegar and toss throughly. These can be held in the Rice Vinegar while prepping the other ingredients (or chilled overnight.) ** Drain off the Rice Vinegar JUST BEFORE using the noodles.

3) Prep the other ingredients and have everything out for layering on the wrappers before starting the wrappers.

TO ASSEMBLE THE WRAPPERS:1) In a large plate, pour in about 1/4 inch very warm water. Take out one wrapper and lay it in the water, flip it over getting both sides wet. Swirl it around in the water for about 20 seconds. You just want the wrapper to become pliable and soft without getting it too weak. 2) Drizzle the surface of your work board with a little water and smooth it around. Then lift the wrapper to your board and use your hand to swirl on the top of the wrapper to even out the moisture. 3) Begin your layering (about 2/3rds down the wrapper) with two pieces of the sliced shrimp. After that, it's really up to you ( I added the carrots, the avocado, a couple pieces of arugula, a few slices of the spring onion and ended with a finger full of the noodles.) Don't pile on too much of any one thing.

4) Pick up the bottom of the wrapper and fold it up and over all the ingredients and gently pull it a little tight just to squeeze the ingredients together well. Then, fold the sides toward the center and over your first fold. Then, holding your little bundle - roll it up the rest of the wrapper to the top.

5) Congratulate yourself, then either place that roll to the side for later or slice it in half (diagonally for a nice presentation) and place it on your serving platter or bowl.

**If you need to hold these for later or the next day, be sure to cover them with a paper towel that has been wet and then squeezed out damp. Loosely cover the whole plate with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

SERVE these with a home made plum sauce or peanut sauce for dipping.Join us for next month's Lets Lunch friends by letting me know here, or go to Twitter and type in #LetsLunch and that's it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving comment love :D


Rashda Khan said...

How very beautiful! And I love the idea of poaching the shrimp in tea. Mmm!

Mai said...

That is so pretty! And I love that you used Jasmine Tea. :)

lynn said...

gorgeous summer rolls! i haven't made them in forever; did something CRAZY with my leftover reice paper wrappers - made a gluten-free lasagna. it wasn't too bad, actually!

Victor @ The Taste of Oregon said...

What a delicious take on spring rolls!

Eleanor Hoh said...

Wow, love your shrimp rolls, gorgeous. Great tip about making tea, not boiling water!

Emma said...

These look absolutely incredible! I've never used tea to poach before.... but your notes are super helpful :)

Danielle said...

You constantly amaze me with your Asian-inspired dishes - inventive, simple and beautiful to boot! In Singapore and Malaysia we have a heartier version that has braised jicama for its filling, accentuated with lettuce, shredded omelette, shrimp, chinese sausage, dark soy sauce and chili. It's the perfect dinner party dish because everyone's kept busy rolling their err...rolls :)

Brooke - in Oregon said...

YUMMMM these look amazing and you make them look do-able. Going to give this a try this weekend! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I like to make an egg salad with siracha/mayo cilantro & avocado and wrap it up for breakfast :^)