The other day, I wanted fresh spring rolls. Badly. I also happened to be staring at the collard greens in the grocery store and this idea was born. I know you love quick and easy recipes, but I’ll be honest: this one is a bit more labor intensive because there is more cutting / chopping than usual and it depends which sauce(s) you make on the side. I could see these being an awesome weekend treat or something neat to bring to a summer party. All the components can also be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated for a day or two before use.
The really cool part is that the kelp noodles look just like the vermicelli that comes in fresh spring rolls, but if you can’t find them, you could surely leave them out. I served my rolls with Umami Mayo but I think they’d be killer with Melissa Joulwan’s Sunshine Sauce, my Paleo Sweet and Sour Sauce or my Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce on the side for dipping. Dipping rules.
Prep time: 45 min Cook time: 10 min Makes: 6 full rolls
- 1 large bunch of collard greens (you need one whole leaf per roll)
- 6-7 medium-sized raw shrimp (about 1/4 pound)
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 a cucumber, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, dark green tops removed and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of fresh mint, basil or cilantro leaves
- 1 package kelp noodles (you’ll use about half), optional
- 1/4 cup of Umami Mayo for dipping, optional
- You’ll need to blanch the collard leaves so they become more pliable and lose some of their bitter flavor (this can be done ahead of time). Set up a large bowl with ice water. Bring a very large pot of water to boiling. Dip the WHOLE collard leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately place them in the ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
- Peel and devein the shrimp, if needed. Into a small skillet over medium heat, place the raw shrimp and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover and steam until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Slice in half from head to tail.
- Rinse and drain the kelp noodles. Set aside.
- Prepare the carrot, cucumber and green onion. How thinly you slice them depends on how much chewing you want to be involved.
- Now that the collard leaves are cool, remove the tough stem with a sharp knife by cutting upward toward the top of the leaf in an upside-down V shape. The leaves will roll better.
- Now assemble a wrap: Lay the collard leaf on a flat surface. Place two halves of shrimp at the top of the leaf. Next, put a small amount of kelp noodles (a little less than a 1/4 cup worked for me). On top of that put a few mint leaves, and two or three slices EACH of carrot, cucumber and green onion.
- Now you’re ready to wrap, burrito-style. Gently but with a bit of pressure, roll from the shrimp end toward the stem end. Once you’ve rolled over once, fold in the sides and then finish rolling all way down.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Slice each wrap in half and serve cold with your choice of dipping sauces, if desired.
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