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Print this Recipe    Asparagus rolls

asparagus spears (I usually use about 20)
rice paper sheets, one per asparagus spear
egg wash
vegetable oil
dark toasted sesame oil for flavor

Chinese hot mustard
toasted dark sesame oil
heavy cream
Tamari (Japanese dark soy sauce)

1/8 red cabbage head, shredded
1/8 green cabbage head, shredded

Prepare the rolls. Trim the asparagus and peel the stem so you're
left with spears of about 5" - 7". Steam or blanch spears for a
few minutes until somewhat cooked but still firm -- they will
undergone secondary cooking later) Arrest cooking by dropping
steamed asparagus spears into an ice-water bowl. Set aside.

NOTE: working with rice paper: Place rice paper sheet on a working
surface (or large flat plate). Brush with water on both sides, make
sure you don't break the sheet (they are very brittle when dry).Wait
a few minutes until the rice paper sheet absorb the water and become
very soft and malleable. When cooked, the rice paper becomes
translucent, a magical effect indeed!

Do the following with each of the asparagus spears:

Dry the spear using paper towel. Wrap a pancetta strip around the
spear, leaving the flower unwrapped. Wrap the spear with a piece
of rice paper. Try to keep it to one layer. Seal the seam with
a bit of the egg wash. Leave the flower end of the asparagus spear
unwrapped so it peeks out of the wrapper. Set aside on aluminum
foil covered with damp cloth so the rice paper doesn't dry up. You
may sprinkle a little water on top -- don't wet it too much.

Make the sauce. In a small bowl mix a couple of tbsp. of the
tamari, a half teaspoon of the hot mustard and a half teaspoon of
the wasabi. Add a couple of drops of the sesame oil and whisk
together. Whisk in a couple of tbsp. of cream. Bring to smooth
texture. Mince the green part of a scallion (not too much of it!!)
and stir it in. Adjust and balance for taste by adding any of the
above ingredients. in small quantities while stirring.

Cook the rolls. In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil. Make
sure that you have about 1/2 inch of depth -- this is somewhere
between sauteing and deep-frying. Add a couple of drops of the
dark sesame oil. Saute rolls on all sides until crispy and lightly
golden. Don't let the rolls become too browned!! Remove from skillet
and place on paper towel to absorb fat. When correctly cooked,
you could pick up a roll from either end and it will stay stiff
(it won't go limp on you). The texture of the outside skin of the
roll is very crispy.

Serve. In the center of the large serving plate place the small
sauce bowl. Toss together the shredded red and green cabbage and
arrange around the sauce bowl. Arrange the spears around the sauce
bowl, on top of the cabbage, as if they are the spokes of a wheel.
Serve while still warm!! Accompany by either German Spatlese or
a California late harvest reisling well chilled


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