Mark and I recently took a french cooking class in Woodenville, WA. The chef that instructed the fun class was from the Seattle area as well. We of course asked "what is your favorite restaurant in downtown Seattle"? He said with no hesitation.... Long Provincial on 2nd and Stewart. Well, our condo is literally 1 block from Longs, a place that we have walked right past for 4 years and never walked into. The next night we went. A wonderful Vietnamese restaurant that has now become one of our very favorites. Very intriguing decor and live jellyfish, carved furniture with banana palms.One of the most amazing items we love on the menu is the Spring Rolls. Now it is a bit more carbs than I want to have so I decided to recreate it at home..... Drum Roll Please.....These were off the charts and so easy!!!
1 1/2 lb gr turkey (gr chicken or pork)
1/2 med onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 TBL Thai basil, finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
match stick size slices
green onion or chives
carrot-optional (I do not use carrots)
Thai basil leaves
Butter Lettuce leaves for rolling
Peanut Dipping Sauce6 TBL organic natural peanut butter-sugar free1 TBL soy sauce
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
hot water to desired thinness
Preparation: Mix all ground meat filling ingredients in a bowl. The easiest way is to just squish it together with your hands. Saute over medium heat. Place in a bowl and cool in frig. Cut your other fillings making them like match stick size as much as possible.
Boil water. Put peanut butter into small bowl. Add soy sauce to peanut butter, stir and add enough water to your desired thinness for dipping sauce. (I like to use Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flax seeds). Refrigerate.
Place a spoonful of the ground meat on 1 or 2 butter lettuce leaves. Add your other fillings. Do not over fill or it will not roll well. Roll the leaves around the filling. You may want to secure with a bamboo pick or small shish kabob stick.
Serve with dipping sauce in individual small bowls.
I do not use the rice paper that would be used on the commonly known Vietnamese spring rolls, however you won't miss it with the amazing flavors in these. As for the rice noodles inside, I have discovered the Kelp Noodle. It is exactly a duplicate of a rice noodle without the carbs and calories. It has a slight crunch that is perfect in a spring roll.