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An appetizing first course from the flavor center of the universe, Louisiana. Courtesy of Chef Mike Fennelly of Mike's on the Avenue, featured in The Louisiana New Garde television series. Eat these gems plain or wrapped inside a lettuce leaf with a little pasta and mint leaves. Either way, dip them in the sauce and savor. If you cannot find crawfish meat, please feel free to substitute shrimp. The nutritional numbers are slightly skewed as you won't be using the entire package of wrappers. Wrap the remaining rounds tightly and refrigerate.
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 lb crawfish (tail meat)
- 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1⁄2 cup napa cabbage, julienned
- 1⁄4 cup spinach leaves, julienned
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 celery, julienned
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup red onion, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb spring roll wrappers (6-inch to 8-inch rice paper rounds preferred)
- 4 egg whites, beaten
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 3 anaheim chilies
- 2 jalapenos, seeded
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 limes, juice of
- 1⁄2 cup fish sauce (Vietnamese fish sauce preferred)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- peanut oil, for frying
- carrot, strips julienned (for garnish)
- red leaf lettuce (optional) or butter lettuce (optional)
- linguine, cooked, drained and cooled (about 8 ounces) (optional)
- fresh mint, stemmed (optional)
- To make the spring rolls: toss the first 9 ingredients together; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a wrapper on work surface, brush with egg white and let stand a few seconds to soften.
- Place a spoonful of the mixture about a quarter of the way in from the top edge of the wrapper.
- Spread filling into a 3/4" x 5" rectangle; fold top of wrapper over and roll one turn.
- Fold in sides and complete rolling.
- Repeat until all the filling is used.
- To make the dipping sauce: whirl the first six ingredients in a blender or food processor until finely minced.
- Add next three ingredients and mix well; set aside.
- To cook the spring rolls: preheat the oil to 375F in a large sauce pan or fryer.
- Drop the spring rolls into hot oil and fry until golden.
- Remove to absorbent paper to drain well.
- Cut each roll into 3 pieces.
- To serve: Divide the sauce into individual bowls.
- Place spring rolls on sauce and garnish with carrot strips.