The quality of the entries for Rosa’s Thai Cafe spring roll competition were so good that we thought it only fair to share with you the runners-up recipes too. After all, you can never have enough spring rolls on the menu.
Gaeng som spring rolls by Tani Burns
My recipe is a happy deconstruction of one of my favourite childhood dishes. As a kid, I have to admit that my Thai family didn’t really cook at all; why would you when the most amazing food was on your doorstep at the market, at the moment you wanted it! However, I will always remember the dishes made by my great aunt, Yay Dang. One of my favourites was always the gaeng som. Fresh, bold, spicy and so different from the thick coconut sauces so many of us are used to. Strangely, it’s a dish which many people haven’t heard of, so I thought this was the best opportunity to introduce people to new flavours in a new format.
- 1 small head garlic
- 4 medium turmeric fingers
- 20 bird’s eye chilies
- 2 shallots
- 1 tbsp shrimp paste
- 500g white fish (this can be any white fish. I often use bass, but you can use any white fish which doesn’t flake too much).
- 1.5 – 2 litres water/fish stock
- 1 green papaya (if you really can’t find it then I would recommend marrow or courgette).
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 5 limes
- In a large pan, fry garlic and shallots in 2 large tablespoons of vegetable oil for 3 minutes.
- Add chilies and turmeric (very finely chopped).
- Add shrimp paste. Then grind in a pestle and mortar or in a blender.
- Add the fish, water, papaya, lime juice to the above. Add salt to taste and let it stew for 20 minutes.
- Take a large ladle of the soup from the pot and use it as a dipping sauce (add a few torn-up leaves of fresh basil and coriander to the top if you wish).
- Take one spring roll wrapper. Lay down one sheet of pastry and add a couple of leaves of fresh Thai basil and coriander.
- Place a small amount of mung bean noodles and a small amount of sautéed carrot and Chinese leaf.
- Add a small amount of papaya from the pot, as well as a small amount of fish.
- Important note: Keep the contents dry. The flavours will come through in the fish, and you will also have the additional flavours from the dipping sauce.
- Fry in shallow oil until brown.
- Place on kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve alongside gaeng som dipping sauce.
Khao San Road banana pancake spring rolls by Nadia Khiavi
- One banana
- Crushed peanuts
- Pandan leaf
- Coconut oil
- Condensed milk
- Fry the chopped banana in a little coconut oil and a tablespoon of condensed milk to caramelise the fruit.
- Add a little bit of shredded pandan leaf to wilt.
- Pop the mixture in a spring roll wrapper and sprinkle some crushed peanuts over it.
- Fry and serve with sweet condensed milk or Nutella.
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