Jihye Chang

“Thai sweet chili sauce”

Jihye’s Favorite Summer Rolls

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This is, along with my spicy tuna sushi, the crowd-pleaser,  and the most popular dish among all the things I can cook.

So many people have asked the recipe for these – and here’s my little secret.

Ingredients

Vietnamese Rice Papers: look for two roses on the package. That’s the best kind, my Vietnamese student once told me. Prepare a big bowl filled with hot-warm water that you can put your hands in.

Rice Stick: get a very thin kind. Not the kind you would use for Pad-Thai. Soak in warm water for about 20 minutes and then boil quickly in hot water for 30 seconds and then drain.

Extra Firm Tofu: I always use organic tofu. Place the tofu on a flat surface and put a cutting board on top of the tofu. Put a heavy object on top of the cutting board so that water can be squeezed out. After doing that, wipe out the water with some kitchen towel. Cut into sticks – about your pinky size.  Put enough oil (canola or vegetable) on a non-stick pan and fry the tofu until golden and crisp. This takes a while, so don’t be hasty or flip the tofu around too often.

Avocado: Cut it in slices, about the same size as the tofu sticks.

Cilantro leaves, Chopped green onion (green parts only), and Shredded cabbage (you can get it in a bag)

I have made these rolls with boiled and sliced shrimps and some pork, like at a lot of Vietnamese restaurants, but this one is much more popular and it is vegetarian!

Sauce Ingredients:

1) Simple kind: Mae Ploy brand sweet chile sauce + some freshly squeezed lemon juice – not spicy and vegetarian.

2) Spicy kind: 4 TB Mae Ploy brand sweet chile sauce + 1 TB Vietnamese chile garlic sauce (with green cap) + 0.5 TB or more Tiparos brand fish sauce (Golden Boy brand is good, too) + 0.5 TB or more sugar + 0.5 TB or more freshly squeezed lime juice. Mix well and taste – then put some more sugar, fish sauce, or lime juice according to your taste.

How to Make:

Prepare all the ingredients/ lay them out on a large, flat surface. I use a large cutting board as the “wrapping station.”

Soak the rice paper in the hot-warm water until it is pliable. This takes some practice – so expect to ruin a few papers before you get the right consistency without tearing.

Put the paper on the cutting board/ arrange all the ingredients on the paper. (Put only one stick of tofu and avocado per one roll.) Use the front part of the rice paper, and don’t put too much. This also takes some practice. :)

Pull the ingredients toward you and then flip it. Fold the left and the right side to the center. Roll it to close. (See the picture)

Serve them with the sauce and enjoy!

* Don’t make these rolls too early. They can become very sticky and dry.

Bang Bang Shrimp

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This is my favorite thing to order at the Bonefish Grille (Nice family restaurant specializing in seafood. Nice enough food with pleasant atmosphere). I tried a few times to recreate their appetizer called “Bang Bang Shrimp” and this one came very close! The only problem is the batter – I think the restaurant uses a mixture of cornstarch, flour, and salt. But I just used potato starch I had. You can also use panko as the crust. (Flour-Egg-Panko, in that order)  Use whatever you like – the sauce is more important!  

Ingredients:

Medium size shrimps (thawed, deveined, cleaned, drained)

Salt, pepper, rice wine to marinate (I always use some rice wine for shrimps and chicken before cooking. It gets rid of the odor.)

1-2 Egg white and 3TB (plus more) potato starch for the batter

Sauce ingredients: 2 TB Mayonnaise, 0.5 TB (or more) Chili garlic sauce (Vietnamese kind, not he Sriracha sauce, but the coarse kind called “Tung Ot Toi Viet-Nam.”/ 0.5 TB Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (Mae Ploy Brand)/ some lemon juice and sugar to taste

Garnish: chopped green onion

How to Make:

1) Prepare the shrimp/ marinade for 10-20 minutes/ then pat dry/ mix with 1-2 egg white (depends on how much you are making – enough to coat well)/ put the shrimp in a zip-loc bag and pour 3 TB (or more) amount of potato starch and shake well to coat 

2) Heat up the oil in a medium sauce pan or a frying pan/ fry up the shrimps. It’s better to fry twice – fry once until yellow, drain on paper towel, and then fry again until golden brown. Shrimps become much more crisp this way!

3) Mix the sauce ingredients

4) In a bowl, mix the fried shrimps and the sauce well

5) Garnish with green onion pieces and serve right away!