Friday, September 12, 2014

Beef Summer Rolls with Spicy Dipping Sauce


 We still have a few days left of summer and my thermostat definitely indicates it's still summer outside.   So I thought I would sneak in a few more summer dishes before diving into all the fall dishes that will be coming up soon. . Last week I introduced you to my Vegetarian Summer Rolls.  My meat loving husband enjoyed them so much that I decided to make him some shredded beef summer rolls too.  Okay.. as much as he loved the veggie version... he loved these A LOT!   I had a piece of beef that I slow cooked on the stove top for a little over an hour to get it tender enough to shred.  Of course you can do make the meat just as easily in the slow cooker too.   I have to say, I love vegetarian food, but this beef version of summer rolls made me very happy. 

Packet of round rice paper wrappers ** see note
English cucumber sliced into matchsticks
grated carrots
Thai basil leaves
mint leaves
bean thread noodles (about 4-6 oz packet)
green lettuce (I used fancy mix of small lettuce leaves)
warm water (needed to soften rice paper wrappers

For shredded beef:
1 lb piece of good quality beef (boneless)
seasonings (salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, Chinese 5 spice and garlic powder)** see note
1/4 cup water (or more as needed)

Note:  I used Simply Asia Spicy Szechwan Five Spice seasoning.  But if you do not have access to it, use  1 tsp 5 spice powder with 1/8 tsp granulated garlic powder and salt, black pepper and red chili flakes to taste.

 Note: These are dried wrappers found by the noodles at Asian markets.  Do not use the egg roll wrappers from the freezer or refrigerated section for this dish.

I did not include quantities because you can customize these rolls to as much of the ingredients you like (but do not over fill the rolls so they can still be wrapped neatly).

Heat a skillet (with lid) with 1 Tbs oil and season beef on both sides. Brown seasoned beef in pan on both sides.  Add 1/4 cup of water and reduced heat on stove to low and place lid on pan.  Cook for 30 minutes on one side and flip over and cook for 30 minutes on the other side. Add a Tbs of water at a time as needed if the pan gets dried out.  Once beef is cooked allow to cook and shred.

To make the Summer Rolls:
Place warm water into a shallow dish (I used a pie plate)  Place one rice paper wrapper at a time into water for 20 seconds or until soft and pliable.

To cook the Ben Thread Noodles:  Boil water and place noodles in boiling water.  Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes until tender.  Drain and place with other ingredients for rolls.

Place softened wrapper on a plate and layer with lettuce,  cucumber sticks, shredded carrot, basil leaves and mint leaves.   Bring in sides of wrapper and then roll tightly from the bottom up to form a roll. Keep prepared rolls under a damp paper towel so they do not dry up.  I like them at room so serve immediately.  If you prepare them ahead of time, chill until you serve.  Serve with dipping sauce below.  Enjoy.

Spicy Dipping Sauce:
2-3 Tbs Fish sauce (soy sauce can be substituted)
1-2 Tbs Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
1-2 Tbs Sambal Oelek (or garlic chili sauce)
2-3 Tbs finely sliced green onion (white part)

Mix all ingredients together.  Adjust taste as desired.


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