In thinking of creative, unique applications for lentils, I thought of using lentil sprouts in some form. As I was walking through Martin's I was debating between purchasing egg roll wrappers, though finally I settled on spring roll wrappers because I've never made them before, and I figured it would showcase the lentil sprouts the best.
The lentil sprouts obviously have to be made ahead of time. I used the method here, though I used just 1 cup of lentils. The stuff really expands, so make sure your jar is large enough. To reach maximum sproutage, I let mine sit for 4 days. They tasted pretty amazing raw, somewhat nutty and sweet, but I decided to give them a quick steam for this recipe.
Martin's had a great deal for fresh, wild caught shrimp, and since shrimp is my most favorite crustacean in the world there was no way I was passing it up.
The flavoring for the majority of the springs rolls came from the jalapeno and garlic salsa. Finely chopped jalapeno, garlic, a bit of red onion, cilantro, and olive oil are mixed together for a most delicious and quick salsa. You use part of it for the shrimp marinade and as a topping for the lentil sprout and Napa cabbage salad, along with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The rest is used for a dipping sauce along with an avocado-yogurt dip.
Working with spring roll wrappers was easier than I had thought, much like my experience making sushi, though a bit more challenging. You need to briefly wet the wrappers in water and let them stand for at least thirty seconds for it to be pliable enough to roll. What makes it a challenge is if you wet it too much, it's more difficult to roll since the wrapper is floppy. I found that brushing the wrappers lightly on either side with a pastry brush dipped briefly in water was even simpler, and less of a chance of dipping the wrappers in water for too long. I used spring roll wrappers with both tapioca and rice starches. The tapioca is supposed to keep it from tearing as much.
For a step-by-step guide, click here. I followed their "tuck and roll" method, which will take me a bit more practice time to perfect. I was told by a friend to give the rolls one roll before folding the sides over, so I'll do that next time, too. It would give the moistened wrappers something to stick to, which I think is why I had trouble getting the sides to stay folded.
I was very pleased with the flavors, which remained light and summery. The lentil sprout salad was incredible, and since there will be extra you can serve it with the spring rolls along with the salsa and avocado dip.
There are a few steps involved for this recipe, but it would make the perfect dinner party solution if you assemble all the ingredients and let your guests roll their own spring rolls. You can give awards for the most perfectly formed rolls if you wanted to make it a contest, even!
Recipe after the jump.
This recipe was created as part of my involvement with the USA Dried Peas & Lentils Recipe Rivalry. I'll be blogging about lentil recipes over the next two weeks.
1. Lentils with Jalapeno, Cilantro, and Queso Fresco
2. Lentil Olive Salad with Fresh Mozzarella
3. Lentil Enchiladas with Homemade Ancho Chile Sauce
Print this recipe
lentil sprout spring rolls with shrimp
Recipe by Christina Provo
Serves about 6
salsa ingredients ~
1 1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeno (seeded and deveined -- seeds can be added depending on level of heat preference)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
7 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup slightly packed cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup olive oil
avocado dip ingredients ~
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
shrimp ingredients ~
1 pound shrimp, peeled (about 3 shrimp per spring roll)
1 tsp chili powder
lentil-cabbage salad ~
9 cups lentil sprouts (sprouted from 1 cup brown lentils)
4 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
Additional filling ingredients ~
1/2 English cucumber, julienned
1/2 a bell pepper, seeded and cored, julienned into 26-28 thin strips
12-15 spring roll wrappers (the ingredients should include both tapioca and rice starches, preferably)
- Mix salsa ingredients together; set aside.
- Process avocados, yogurt, and garlic together in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Scrape into bowl and stir in lime juice and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Mix shrimp with chili powder. Stir in 1/4 cup salsa and marinate for 15-20 minutes. Heat skillet to medium hot. When skillet has heated, reduce heat to medium and add shrimp. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove to bowl to cool. (You won't need to grease the skillet since there's oil in the salsa).
- While shrimp marinates, heat 2-3 inches of water in a large pot fitted with a steamer tray. When water reaches a rapid simmer, place lentil sprouts on top of tray and cover with a lid. Steam for five minutes. Remove to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes before tossing with the cabbage, 2/3 cup salsa, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
- Fill a small bowl with warm water. Assemble ingredients in an assembly line fashion on your work space -- you want everything within reach. Place a large cutting board on the counter for wrapping up spring rolls, and a platter to place them on once rolled.
- Place a spring roll wrapper on the cutting board. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides lightly with water -- you want to just barely moisten the wrapper. Let sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute to allow the wrapper to soak in the moisture, making it pliable enough to roll.
- On the bottom 1/3 edge (nearest you), line wrapper with 3 shrimp, no more than 1/4 cup lentil sprout salad, about 5 strips of cucumber and 2 strips of red bell pepper. Fold the bottom up and over filling, tucking it in tightly, then fold the sides over. Continue to roll and tuck until it's completely wrapped. Place on platter and repeat process until the remaining shrimp is used.
Serve with avocado yogurt dip, and remaining salsa and lentil sprout salad.