I was feeling crabby the other day. Not in the sense that I was cross and cranky, perish the thought. I was in the mood to eat some succulent Cromer crab.
It's so good that I'll usually eat it simply in a salad or, were it not for the fact that Him Outdoors has an aversion to pasta, tossed though some linguine. As he does, I was forced to get a bit more creative.
This is a crustacean-lover's version of the vegetarian summer rolls I made recently and I think it's a winner. If you don't like crab meat (why ever not?) you can substitute cooked prawns. Don't omit the dipping sauce though, as it really livens up the flavours of the filling.
We ate the summer rolls as a main course with a cucumber sangchae (a spicy Korean salad) but they're good as a starter too.
Crab and Avocado Summer Rolls (serves 2-3)
6 large summer roll wrappers
1 fresh dressed crab
Salt, pepper and lemon juice, to season the crab meat
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced and tossed with lime juice
Handful of beansprouts
1 small carrot, grated or cut into batons
Handful of thin rice noodles
1/4 cucumber, peeled and cut into thin batons
1 spring onion, shredded lengthways
6 Thai basil leaves (or coriander leaves)
A small bundle of chives
For the dipping sauce:
Juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tspn caster sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 small red chilli, finely sliced
In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the dipping sauce until the sugar has dissolved and set aside. Prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions, run under cold water to arrest further cooking, and drain well.
Remove the crab meat from its shell and place in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste and stir with a fork so the white meat is mixed in with the brown. Prepare the vegetables as detailed above. Ready to roll? Here goes ...
Fill a large bowl with cold water and working one at a time, dunk the summer roll wrappers, patting them with your fingers until they're soft enough to handle. Don't let them get too soggy otherwise they'll tear.
Lift the wrapper out, allowing the excess water to drip back into the bowl, and place it on your work surface. About a third of the way up, lay a few noodles, some beansprouts, a little shredded carrot and cucumber, a couple of chives, a sliver or two of avocado and one sixth of the crab meat. Don't over-fill it or it will split.
Turn the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and fold in the sides, rolling towards the top as tightly as you can. Just before you do the final fold, place a Thai basil or coriander leaf on the wrapper and roll up so the leaf shows through. Place seam-side down on a plate and repeat until you've filled all the rolls.
Cover loosely with cling film and refrigerate until needed but remove from the fridge 10 minutes before you want to eat. Serve with individual bowls of the dipping sauce.
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