Spring Rolls Don’t Steam Well

Would you look at the fast and furious updating that is going on here?  I’m like a machine!  Or at least a machine with a little extra time.

This is another food related post, because quite honestly, cooking dinner is generally the most interesting part of my day.  A few days ago, I tried this recipe for Pork and Shrimp Summer Rolls (BTW, “Fine Cooking” is a great publication, if you like to cook, get a subscription).  I thought the recipe was decent, but just boiling the pork seemed kind of boring.  So I decided to try my own variation.

Completely uncharacteristically, I did this with no recipe at all.  I am typically religious about following recipes to the letter, but this time, I just winged it.  As a result, I have no idea exactly how much of the ingredients I used, so I can’t write it here.  Sorry.

I made a marinade of rice wine vinegar, sriracha, hoisin sauce, fresh ginger, garlic and soy sauce.  I figured this combined acidic, salt, hot and sweet flavors to get something complex.  I remember reading that this combination is part of the magic behind Pad Thai, so why not here?

I marinated some pork tenderloin for a couple of hours (yes, I know, it should have probably been 8-24 hours, but I didn’t have the presence of mind last night with the Broncos playing so poorly).  I then roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes (looking for an internal temperature of 140 degrees).  Then I boiled the remaining marinade for a couple of minutes to make it safe for eating.


What you see here is the inside of the roll: cooked rice noodles, pork, sauce, quick pickled carrots (strips of carrot covered with hot distilled vinegar mixed with a little salt, sugar and red pepper flake), caramelized onions and cilantro.  You then wrap them up in the rice wrapper (you can just see it underneath everything else).  This takes a little practice, but if you’re not too caught up in appearance, it’s not too hard.

At this point, you could serve them, as everything is fully cooked.  But I wanted to have everything nice and hot, so I thought I would sort of pan-fry/steam them like pot stickers.  The pan-fry portion went ok (although I used too small a pan), but the steaming was a terrible idea.  I added some chicken broth and covered the pan, and two minutes later… well, actually the rice wrappers kind of melted like some weird deep-sea creature unable to survive out of water.  Whoops.  But it still tasted pretty good.  Worth trying again, but this time, I’ll skip the steaming.

Until next time, happy eating!


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