Birthday "BBQ" – Salmon spring rolls recipe

So I celebrate my birthday for a week. Why? Because I have such a diverse group of friends, it’s hard to get everybody out on one particular day of the year. That way people can just show up to whatever itinerary I set up. This year’s agenda includes, BBQ, bonfire jam session, sailing, The Noble Fir, dinner at Matt’s in the Market, The Sloop, Handful of Luvin’ concert at The Tractor, and a trip to Portland for the Bite of Oregon. Yeah, it’s going to be a rocking week.

It’s really fun to watch my friends come together for this every year. Here’s what we did today:

My lovely friend Jenn was generous enough to host a BBQ at her place for me. My tiny apartment just would not do for such an event. Turns out what is hilarious is that even though I called it a BBQ, I didn’t actually BBQ anything.I did make some yummy Bruchetta though!

And of course, I made my salmon spring rolls. Sorry my presentation is so terrible. This is one of my most absolute favorite dishes my mom makes at home. It’s relatively healthy, fresh, easy, and tasty! Below is the recipe.

Fresh Spring Rolls with Teriyaki Salmon

– One package of Rice Paper (there are about a million brands, my mom uses the one with the big red rose on the front because it’s stronger and will help keep your wrap from breaking when you wrap it)

– One bag of vermicelli noodles

– One head of lettuce

– One cucumber (doesn’t really matter what kind, I use English)

– 5-6 stalks of green onions

– 1/2 cup of any cooking oil

– One bunch of mint (I strongly suggest getting this at your local asian market because you can get a whole bag of this for about $2 versus the $5 or $6 you’d pay for a couple sprigs in an American store)

– Parsley (you can use it in the roll but I just like to use it for garnish)

– a fillet of king salmon (depending on how many people are eating determines how much I get)

– Teriyaki Sauce

– Crushed roasted peanuts

– Fried Onions (for those unfamiliar with the asian kind, it’s similar to that Frenchies stuff you use on Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving, but thinner and tastier)

Dipping Sauce:

– 3/4 cup of hoisin sauce

– 1 cup of peanut butter

– your choice of broth or water works fine (for thinning the sauce)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

1. Boil water and cook the vermicelli. It only needs to boil for a couple minutes. Then take it off the heat and let stand for about 7 minutes. When you drain this, be sure to immediately run it with some cold water. This keeps the noodles from sticking from each other.

2. Place the salmon on foil on a cookie sheet and throw it in the oven.

3. Wash and tear the lettuce into medium size pieces (so you can wrap it).

4. Wash and cut the cucumber into julienne strips.

5. Wash and pick the leaves off the mint.

6. Wash and chop 3-4 stalks of green onions.

7. Wash and cut the rest of the green onions into 4-5 inch long pieces.

7. When the salmon is almost done (I usually bake a 2-3 lb. fillet for about 20-25 minutes), pour a couple cups (enough to cover) of Teriyaki sauce over the salmon. When you place it back in, set the oven to broil (low or high depends on your oven, but it’s going to sit in there for about 5-10 minutes).

8. Saute the chopped green onions and oil in a small pan.

9. When the salmon is done, take it out, pour the green onion mixure on top. Then sprinkle the fried onions and roasted peanuts on top. My mom likes to use A LOT…so be generous.

10. Clear off a big table, get a big bowl of hot water and place it on your left. Cut a few dry rice paper pieces into fourths. Place on the left with your water and rest of the package. Then line up your veggies, noodles, herbs, and salmon.

11. Get to large plates. Dip a whole rice paper into the hot water. Only needs to be completely covered for a second. Shake off excess water and place on a plate. Then dip one 1/4 piece and place in the middle. Do the same for the next plate.

12. Now you are ready to wrap. You will notice the rice paper get tender pretty within a couple minutes. I just like having the second plate for the next roll so I don’t have to wait.

Wrapping:

This is where most people fail. In fact, my mom still doesn’t think I do it correctly. The trick is to not let your eyes determine how much food you want in your roll. You can make as many rolls as you want. Growing up I would eat 4-5, so don’t try to make giant burrito size rolls.

1. Place a strip of cucumber horizontal (long way parallel to your body). Add some lettuce and mint. Grab a little bit of noodles and place on top (this helps weigh it down). Scoop up some salmon and place it on the noodles but more on the edge towards the center. Don’t fill to the edges of the paper you want to leave a good inch or so on the left and right. Take a piece of the green onion and parsley and place it in the center horizontal, with a little bit sticking out.

2. Then take fold in the left and right sides and at the same time, take the side closest to you and start wrapping up. Its basically like folding a burrito. Be sure to keep the filling tight and close to you while you are folding up. Your hands will get a little a messy and it takes a bit of practice to get this right and to make sure its rolled tight enough so that the filling doesn’t fall out when you bit into it.

3. Repeat till you’ve used up all your ingredients!

Sauce: Basically plop everything into a small sauce pan, and use the broth or water to thin the sauce. I usually start with teh peanut butter so it starts to melt out. Then add the hoisin and mix it. It will get thick and cook very quickly so be sure to have the broth handy. Then just pour a little bit at a time to mix into the sauce and think it out.

Then, dip and enjoy! It’s pretty tasty! One of my favorite home dishes and have been a hit among my friends. Let me know if you try it, and if you have any questions or need tips on wrapping. I know its hard without pictures, but just imagine wrapping a burrito. This Youtube video does a nice job explaining it.

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