Smoked Salmon Spring Rolls

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One thing I absolutely love is Asian inspired food. I’m not talking the deep fried super china buffets either. I love Korean and Japanese cooking. They both have this beautiful balance of flavors that is achieved quite simply.

You’re probably thinking right away about the soy sauce. You’re in luck! Tamari is soy sauce. The real deal. Most soy sauce is fermented with wheat to speed up the fermentation process. With a bottle of tamari you are getting all that rich soy sauce flavor without the wheat. It just takes longer to produce and as such is about 30-40% more expensive on average. Small price to pay for a happy tummy!

So what I’m going to give you the recipe for today is something so simple. A smoked salmon spring roll.

The great thing about this recipe is that once you master rolling up these rolls you can put any type of meat/veggie combination. They are so tasty and you’ll be amazed at how easy they are to make.

So you’ll need:

Rice paper/Spring roll wrappers (Make sure they are rice wrappers as some are made with wheat. I get mine from our local H-Mart, an asian supermarket here in the Denver area)

1lb Smoked Salmon (If you can’t find it smoked, I’ve found that you can bake it in a foil pouch that has been sprayed with cooking spray, season with sea salt and pepper on 375 for about 25-30 minutes)

1 Block of Cream Cheese

1 Whole Seedless Cucumber

3 Carrots

Red or Green Onion very thinly sliced (optional)

The first thing I do is prep all my veggies. I slice the carrots on a bias very thinly and then I cut them into little match stick size pieces. I peel the cucumber in stripes down the sides, then I cut it in half lengthwise and I make little 4-5 inch long cucumber fries out of them. I also cut the cream cheese into little fry sized pieces. Lengthwise and then cut it in half. It’s the perfect size for the roll! Onions are optional I just slice them as thinly as possible. You could also use green onions as well!

I flake my salmon and set it to the side.

If you’ve never worked with rice paper rolls before it can be a little daunting. The trick is to leave them in their bag until you will use the sheet. Have a pie plate or casserole dish with water standing by. Take out a sheet of paper, fully submerge it for about 5 seconds in the water. Then lay each side on a towel for just a second to absorb any extra water so your rolls don’t stick together. Then lay on your cutting board to assemble.

About 2 inches from the bottom of you paper take about 2 tbsp of flaked salmon and make a little 4 inch long bed of fish. Then I place my carrots right above the salmon. I lay my cream cheese across both the salmon and carrots, and top it with as much cucumber as I like. Then I pull the bottom of my paper over it and roll upwards. Once I have it wrapped around everything I fold the ends in and finish rolling upwards. You should try and keep everything as compact and tight as possible for the best roll. Also don’t be afraid to stuff these rolls full of veggies! Once you’ve made these a bunch you’ll become a pro at rolling them, trust me.

And that’s it. You have a beautiful salmon spring roll. Gluten free! Delicious! And most of all simple. I would tell you how many they will make but it really depends on how much you put inside each roll. Here we get about 9-10 rolls out of this recipe.

Now you may like to dip yours in something. Here we are addicted to the thai kitchen sweet red chili sauce. It’s gluten free and it’s a sweet spicy kick that works perfectly on these rolls. You could also make a spicy mayo or a tamari dipping sauce.

And finally one of the greatest things about spring rolls is that you can stuff them with just about any veggie and meat you like. So experiment and come up with your own creation and feel free to share any ideas in the comments!

Until next time!

-Zia

 

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Going Gluten Free?

If you’re trying a gluten free diet out of necessity or maybe you just feel like eating a bit cleaner, I have some hefty experience with spending money on worthless products and making some pretty silly mistakes.  So read on!

1: Rushing out to buy every type of gluten free flour available.

I’m guilty of this. The first thing I did when I found out I needed to eat gluten free for my tummy (and sanity) was run out to the closest health food store and buy EVERY type of flour I could possibly imagine. Guess where that flour is now? Stowed away in my pantry. Guess where it needs to be! In the trash. What a waste of $200+ dollars. The best advice I can give you? Find a flour blend you enjoy. I personally recommend Bob’s Red Mill all purpose baking mix. Almost everything I’ve made has worked great with it and it’s relatively inexpensive. Having Xanthan Gum on hand is a good choice too. Potato flour is good for thickening soups, stocks, etc. Sure you may need some obscure flour for a recipe but chances are it can be substituted and won’t break the bank.

2. Eating gluten free is not a DIET.

Many people I know found out about gluten free and rushed out for their gluten free cupcakes hand over fist. Then come the social media updates about how much healthier they feel and how much better they are for going gluten free. I’m going to raise a big red flag on this mumbo jumbo. Gluten free baked goods, whether bread, cookies, cakes, pies, etc., are actually more calorie laden than their gluten filled buddies. So beware!

3. Check your existing food in your pantry. Read EVERY label.

One night we had just finished dinner and all of a sudden it hit me. The aches in my tummy. I looked at my lovely partner in crime. What had I done? This was a perfect gluten free meal. Chicken and rice with steamed veggies. What had I possibly done wrong you ask? I cooked the chicken in cream of chicken soup. Dun DUN DUNNNN. Oh how we learn the hard way! Check those labels! I found wheat ingredients in frozen steamed vegetables one time. So you never know.

4. Beware of packaged foods claiming gluten free.

Chances are these foods are incredibly over priced. $5 for handful of chocolate wafers? No thanks. If you do find a gluten free favorite check out Amazon. For instance I absolutely love the Annie’s Gluten Free Chocolate and Vanilla Bunny cookies. They kind of remind you of teddy grahams and my daughter loves them too. At our local Whole Foods they are around $5 a box when not on sale. On amazon I purchased them in a set of 5 boxes for around $2.80 a piece and free shipping if you subscribe. That’s almost 50% cheaper.

5. Check out the company, find coupons, and look for samples.

I’ve gotten so many gluten free samples just buy emailing the company and asking for them. There’s honestly nothing more frustrating than buying a whole box of something, let’s say energy bars, and finding out that they are disgusting. That’s a huge waste of money. Instead try looking on facebook or on their website. See what the company is about. Look for deals and it never hurts to ask for samples.

6. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Do you know the best way to know you are going gluten free? I’m going to tell you what your mom has been harping about since before you could talk. Eat those veggies! Eat those fruits! There’s nothing cheaper and more sure than eating clean. Veggies, fruit, nuts, and rice are all safe and budget friendly! Though be sure to scope out your bags of rice in case they happen to be processed in a facility with wheat. This of course all depends on how sensitive to gluten you are.

7. You won’t be perfect.

Did you just find out you ate sushi with normal soy sauce? Discover that your beloved twizzlers are made with wheat flour after eating half the bag? We’ve all done it. It takes time and patience. I’ve been going gluten free for a couple years now and even I still screw up or eat something I shouldn’t because it was so tempting. Girl scout cookies anyone? Just get back on track immediately. If you’re like me, your tummy will thank you!

So that’s my little bit of advice for starting out. Follow me and I’ll be sending lots of gluten free tips, advice, recipes, and even answer questions from people as we get more followers!