Spring Rolls with Ponzu Sauce

Thanks to my many skills acquired at the “Lair” cafeteria as bad as that sounds, I was able to concoct my own recipe on shrimp spring rolls. This is Vietnamese dish but probably not as authentic as it should be. I used shrimp, lettuce, cucumber, and carrot for the wrap. The real key ingredients missing were mint and basil for Vietnamese tropical flair. 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • Torn pieces of lettuce
  • Handful baby carrots
  • Half of a cucumber
  • 10 rice wrappers (I got them from World Market/Cost Plus)
Ponzu sauce
  • Pinch of lemon zest and orange zest(or dash of orange juice)
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons or less Rice vinegar
  • About 3 tablespoons diced green onion
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger root, more for taste if desired
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, more or less depending on sweetness
  • Dash of fish sauce if you have it
  • Thai chile sauce or other chile
1. Begin by preparing your ingredients for the rolls. Peel the cucumber and cut into small matchstick-size pieces. Do the same for the carrots. Tear the lettuce into small pieces that can fit into the roll
2. Defrost the shrimp if needed. Then dice the shrimp into small pieces. This does not have to be perfect, the shrimp piece sizes can differ.
3. Obtain a large baking dish or container that your rice wrappers can fit into. Then, fill the container at least half way with very warm water. You will place the rice wrappers in the water for about a minute each to soften them. 
4. Set a large cutting board to lay the wetted rice wrappers down. Make sure to only put one wrapper in the water at a time. Wait for the wrapper to become soft and delicate. Be careful at this point to not tear the wrapper when removing it from the water. 
5. Then, fill the lower part of the wrapper with a line of lettuce, carrots, cucumber, and shrimp. Keep the ingredients in the center and leave a lot of room on the the ends for folding. Roll the wrap once, then fold in the sides. Continue to roll the wrap making sure to keep the sides parallel to each other. Be gentle, its easy to lose them here.

For the Ponzu sauce:

1. Sorry the directions are not exact.  I basically blended all the ingredients together for the ponzu and whisked them together in a saucepan. I decided to warm the sauce but it does not have to be warmed. I found it made it easier to dissolve the sugar though. 
2. Add more or less ingredients to taste. I personally prefer it to be more spicy then sweet but in the end it should almost taste like a sweet and sour sauce for the spring rolls. 
3. Also, for the final touch, save some of your green onions to garnish at the end. Then tend to break up when heated so add them last. The garnish on the plate I used was cilantro. Have fun and go with the flow.

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