Transparent Snow Crab Rice Paper Rolls
By Andrea Maunder
300 g rice vermicelli noodles
12 large rice paper wrappers
12 oz. Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab leg meat
1 large carrot, shredded into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, or coarsely shredded
1 cucumber, shredded into ribbons, or cut into matchsticks
12 leaves of tender lettuce (leaf or butter/Boston; if romaine, remove ribs)
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves pulled from stems
½ cup roasted salted cashews
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (or lemon or lime juice)
1 tsp. honey (or sugar)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated finely
1 garlic clove, finely minced
½ cup peanut butter (your choice — smooth or crunchy)
1 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce (or to taste)
Sauce: Mix soy sauce, water, vinegar, honey, ginger and garlic. Warm in microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Add hot sauce. Sauce should be thick for dipping but not solid. Taste. If too thick, add water, soy, honey or vinegar.
Rice noodles: Soak rice noodles in very hot tap water (about 5 minutes). Taste. Will be firm but tender enough to bite through. If they resist a bite, drain, refresh hot water, and soak a few minutes longer. Drain and set aside.
Rice paper: Fill a large bowl with very hot tap water. Discard any cracked rice paper wrappers. Working with one wrapper at a time, dip rice paper in hot water, rotating to ensure all parts are hydrated. Wrappers will soften and become pliable. Remove from water before completely soft. Place on work area and smooth out.
Filling ingredients: Laterally, in bottom third of rice paper sheet nearest you, leaving an inch clearance at bottom and right and left sides, lay down a half-palm sized log-shaped bundle of rice noodles, 1 crab leg, a handful of cashews, 4-5 each of carrot and cucumber ribbons, 4-5 mint leaves and a leaf of soft lettuce. Pile ingredients to form log-shaped stack. Pick up bottom curve and fold it over the filling. Holding in place, pick up left side curve and fold it in to enclose left side. Rice paper will stick to itself. Do same with right side. Roll up from bottom, tucking and using moderate pressure to form a neat, fairly tight roll. Top curve will stick to the roll, sealing itself. Repeat until all filling is used. Don’t let completed rolls touch, or they will stick to each other, tearing the rice paper. After the first couple, you will get to know how long to soak the rice paper to make it easiest to roll — not long enough and it’s too stiff to roll, too long and it disintegrates.
Makes 12 rolls, enough to serve 4 people. Feel free to customize to your tastes. Poached shrimp or scallops, cooked chicken or beef would be delicious. Cilantro, basil, or chives are great substitutions. Almost any thinly julienned vegetables would work. Avoid anything too stiff, such as celery or broccoli, as it will tear the rice paper. And choose a soft lettuce. Mixed baby greens or arugula are also nice.
About the contributor
Andrea Maunder is owner, wine expert, and pastry chef of Bacalao (http://bacalaocuisine.ca), a St. John’s restaurant specializing in bold flavours with local flair.
Filibuster Fried Cod
By Caroline (Kay) Young
¼ lb. salt pork
4 cod fillets
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
2 cups cracker crumbs
Cut salt pork into small cubes and fry in a cast iron skillet until the pork cubes are crisp and fat is rendered. Set aside the pork cubes, which are now considered scrunchions. Beat the milk and egg together. Cut the fillets into serving portions. Cover the cod pieces with flour and dip in the milk and egg mixture. Coat cod pieces with cracker crumbs to which salt has been added. Using medium heat and the fat rendered from the pork cubes, fry the cod until golden brown. Reheat the scrunchions and serve with the cod. My mother (Nellie Diamond) would serve the cod with lemon wedges, mashed potatoes, and either coleslaw or canned green peas.
About the Contributor
Caroline (Kay) Young is a former member of the House of Assembly for Terra Nova.