Let me introduce you to Shrimp and Pickled Green Tomato Spring Rolls. Yesterday, I posted about making pickled green tomatoes.
Today, I’m revealing a lovely and unique way to highlight those pickled green tomatoes. These spring rolls have just three ingredients, not counting the rice wrapper, but wow, are they good!
As I’ve mentioned before, not only are spring rolls healthy and fresh-tasting, but they’re really easy to make.
Pictured here is a package of Three Ladies Brand Rice Paper, but if you go to an Asian market, you’ll find a lot of different brands, and different sizes. To be honest, I can’t tell much difference between the various brands that I’ve tried. What I do know, is that these rice wrappers are gluten free, and depending on the brand, each rice paper sheet is between 33 and 45 calories. Over time, I’ve found that I lean more to the smaller-sized rice wrappers, so that I get a bigger filling to wrapper ratio, but that’s just my personal preference. Considering the low calorie count, these rice wrappers are a pretty wonderful way to enjoy a plethora of spring rolls!
Pictured also is a rice wrapper already soaked for a few seconds in water. I simply lay it on a plate or other flat work surface. Working quickly, I then add a few shrimp, a pickled tomato sliced in half, and a few thin slices of radish. To roll up my spring roll, I first fold over the bottom edge of the wrapper over the filling, then fold over the edges towards the center, and then continue rolling the filled wrapper until it’s closed and snug. If you want to make some spring rolls ahead of time, these will keep for a few hours in the fridge, but it’s actually fun to let everyone make their own too.
Note that these shrimp and pickled green tomato spring rolls are only complete with a dipping sauce, which is also simple to make. I found the recipe for the dipping sauce on this wonderful NPR post about spring rolls. The dipping sauce is tangy from the vinegar, slightly sweet from some sugar, briny from fish sauce, and a bit spicy from chili. Those qualities from the dipping sauce highlight all of the flavors of these spring rolls simply and perfectly. You might have extra dipping sauce: just refrigerate it in a covered jar for up to three weeks to serve alongside other spring rolls you’ll make in the future.
How to describe these shrimp and pickled green tomato spring rolls? They’re crunchy and tangy from the pickled green tomato, rich and briny from the shrimp, and crispy fresh with just a little bite from the radish slices. All of those textures and flavors are wrapped up in a rice paper that won’t detract or distract from all these great flavors. Liberally dunk these shrimp and pickled green tomato spring rolls in the dipping sauce, and you’ll be in heaven.
These spring rolls are visually appealing as well, with the sliced radish adding vivid color and taste.
Here’s the recipe, for both the shrimp and pickled green tomato spring rolls, and the accompanying dipping sauce:
- FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon lime juice, or to taste
- Sriracha or other chili sauce, to taste
- FOR THE SPRING ROLLS:
- Three sheets of spring roll rice paper sheets
- About 15 small cooked shrimp, without tails
- Three slices of pickled green tomato, each slice cut in half
- Two radishes, thinly sliced
- TO MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE, in a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add rice vinegar, fish sauce, garlic clove, and lime juice. Add a few drops of chili sauce, and adjust to taste until you have a potent but balanced blend — it will seem tamer when you're dipping the roll into it.
- TO MAKE THE SPRING ROLLS: Have shrimp cooked and cooled, and tomatoes and radishes sliced and ready.
- Have a clean plate or flat work surface ready to prepare spring rolls.
- Dip a rice paper sheet in water for about ten seconds (sometimes I just place the wrapper under running water).
- Place wet wrapper immediately on a plate or work surface.
- Quickly lay a few slices of radish, then about 5 shrimp, the two slices of pickled green tomato, then a few more slices of radish in the lower-middle of the rice paper wrapper.
- To roll up your roll, first fold over the bottom edge of the wrapper over the filling, then fold over the edges towards the center and continue rolling the filled wrapper until it's closed and snug.
- Serve rolls with dipping sauce on the side.