Monday, November 4, 2013

Vietnamese Style California Rolls

The California roll is probably one of the most popular sushi rolls on the west coast.  Crab and avocado turns out to be an irresistible combination of flavors.   This recipe gives the popular combination a Vietnamese twist by wrapping the two ingredients in spring rolls along with carrots, cucumbers and lettuce.

This Asian blend is served with a simple spicy peanut dipping sauce made from creamy peanut butter and chili sauce.  My recommendation for chili sauce is the Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce which is fairly easy to find at most groceries on the west coast or at Asian markets.  It is also available on

Servings: 2-4
Prep Time: 25 minutes


Spicy Peanut sauce:
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce

Spring Rolls:
6 Spring Roll Skins
2-4 large Lettuce Leaves (Romaine, Oak Leaf or Butter lettuce)
1 Large Carrot cut into matchsticks
1 Cucumber cut into matchsticks
1 Avocado skin removed, deseeded and sliced.  (See how to prepare Avocado video in Food Videos)
12 oz. Crab Meat or Imitation Crab (meat shredded)

For the sauce simply combine the creamy peanut butter with the Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce.  If the peanut butter seems to firm to stir, add two tablespoons hot water to the peanut butter to soften it and that should allow the chili sauce to stir in easily.  Set the mixture aside.

For the spring rolls prepare a plate with enough cold water to cover its surface and a large chopping board to work on.

Take two spring rolls and slip them into the cold water on the plate to soften.  Transfer the rolls to the chopping board with one layered over the other.  Place a lettuce leaf horizontally across the center of the rolls.  Spread a third of the carrot matchsticks lengthwise over the lettuce.  Spread a third of the cucumber matchsticks along with the carrots.  Add two to three slices of the avocado spread lengthwise over the vegetables.  Add about 4 oz. of crab meat or imitation crab over the avocado.  Carefully take the edges of the spring roll closes to you and roll it tightly over the crab and vegetables.  Continue to roll the spring rolls until the crab and vegetables are encapsulated in the center and the edges are sealed.  You may also choose to seal the ends if you'd like.   Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into quarters and transfer to a serving plate.

Repeat the process described in the paragraph above two more times.

Serve with the spicy peanut sauce on the side as a dipping sauce.  If peanuts are not your thing, the Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce also makes a nice dipping sauce on its own.  For a more Japanese experience, serve it with soy sauce and wasabi.

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