Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spicy Beef Summer Rolls

I'll begin with a note - these are not accurate summer rolls in that they are filled with all the delicious ingredients you might find in a traditional summer roll. Nope. No fish sauce. Lots of chiles, but I've messed with the pure Thai origins, adding cumin to my ground beef (because I'm obsessed) and added a spicy red curry mayo as opposed to something salty like fish sauce to the filling. They're far from traditional, but warning: REALLY good.

After a long day at school or work, nothing beats a cool and refreshing summer roll to take the edge off. And why order some from your local Asian restaurant when you can make them at home?

I've paired a slightly spicy ground beef mixture with greens and a curried mayonnaise for layers of flavor, but once you have the wrapping technique down, the fun part of making these is experimenting. Try using fruits like mango and papaya inside or opt for shredded chicken tossed in a peanut sauce that is homemade or store-bought.

Spicy Beef Summer Rolls

1 pound ground beef
Ground cumin, to taste
Ground cayenne, to taste
1 fresh chile, thinly sliced (optional)
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1 package of 12-inch rice papers, for rolling*
Coleslaw mix or shredded lettuce, cabbage, and carrots, for stuffing
Chopped almonds (optional)
½ cup sweet chile sauce
2-3 tablespoons yuzu jam

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the ground beef. Add the cumin, cayenne, and chile, if desired. Season with salt. Cook until just seared through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and curry paste until well mixed.

Soak the rice papers in hot water for about 20 seconds, or until tender. Remove from water. Spread the rice papers with the mayonnaise mixture. Layer with lettuce or coleslaw mix, and almonds, if desired. Add 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture. Fold over the sides of the rice paper and roll up like a burrito. Repeat until all the beef has been used.

In a small bowl, combine the chile sauce and yuzu jam and set next to the rolls for dipping.

*Note: If you can't find 12-inch wrappers, any size will do. Just be sure to leave a 1-inch border for the 6-inch wrappers, and about a 2-inch border for larger wrappers to ensure the filling doesn't break through.

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