I love streetfood. Whenever we go out and travel to another destination it is one of the first things I check out. So when I saw that this month’s theme for the Monthly Mingle was indeed, all about streetfood, I had to join in. So that’s when I started thinking about streetfood in Holland and came to the sad conclusion that there isn’t much. Looking back at history I think Dutch folks always used to eat wholesome and hearty food, but they always did it indoors behind closed curtains. Maybe partially due to our usually uninviting weather, we didn’t live on the streets as they do in warmer climates. So our streetfood culture – if that’s how you can even call it – exists of a few stalls that sell on markets and such. I don’t count festivals as yes, there is streetfood abound there, but that is not exactly part of culture so I figured I’d have to look at the things that would always be there.
So we started thinking; what is really Dutch and sold on the streets here? Poffertjes would be one thing, herring, when it’s the season, is another typical one. And sure enough there is usually a couple of stands somewhere that sell hamburgers, fries, that kind of stuff, but for some reason I just don’t think that is typical streetfood. So not a big thing here, that’s for sure. One thing we do see everywhere, in every city and on every market is the Vietnamese springroll. Usually one of those typical small cars (see pic below), with a little Vietnamese man or woman in there selling the fried springrolls. With sweet chili sauce mostly. And while not by origin Dutch, it’s still streetfood right?
And while I know I have done a couple of springrolls here I had never made any with prawns and since I had a few prawns left in the fridge plus a whole bunch of vegetables I wanted to use before they would walk out of the fridge by themselves. And for me – whatever the origin of the springroll – it is the ultimate streetfood. Healthy, delicious and so quick to put together (not counting all the cutting required!). These babies are no exception to the rule; I baked the prawns in a mixture of coconut, panko and lime, let them cool of a bit and then cut them into chunks to be included into the springroll. Tom had been doing all the vegetable cutting (well, don’t feel sorry for him, I was taking out those horrible poopshoots from the prawns..)
So nothing new in particular but that doesn’t mean it is not very very good. I am submitting my prawn springrolls to the Monthly Mingle which is being hosted by the fabulous Zizi from Zizi’s Adventures whom I had the pleasure of meeting in real life during the London Foodblogger Connect in 2011. Monthly Mingle is the brainchild of Meeta from What’s for Lunch Honey.
- rice paper
- 10 large raw prawns, peeled and poopshoot removed
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp panko (or other breadcrumbs)
- 3 tbsp of dried coconut (not sweetened)
- 1 egg
- zest of 1 lime
- sunflower oil for frying the prawns
- 1 tsp salt
- filling for the springrolls
- carrots, finely sliced into strips
- cucumber, finely sliced into long strips
- red chili, finely sliced
- Thai basil
- spring onions, finely sliced into thin strips
- red pepper, thinly sliced
- Prepare all your vegetables and slice them as evenly and as thinly as you can. Our were a little bit too thick and that will effect the end result, so as thin as you can!
- Once all your vegetables are cut and ready to go, prepare your prawns. Clean them and make three little bowls ready; one with flour, one with the combined panko and coconut and lime and one with the egg, loosely beaten.
- Dip your prawns into the flour first, then the egg and lastly with the coconut mix.
- Heat a layer of sunflower oil in a wok or frying pan and in batches cook your prawns until golden brown. Leaves to drain on kitchen paper.
- Once cooled of, cut them into manageable chunks to include into the ricepaper.
- Prepare a flat bowl (I always use one of those silicon tartcases… perfect size!) for dipping your rice paper in, with lukewarm water. Not to warm, not too cold.
- Dip each sheet into the water one side and repeat on the other side. It will still be slightly stiff when you take it out and put it on your kitchencounter but once it’s been there it will soften quickly so work fast.
- Put your vegetables neatly in the middle and top with some prawns and start wrapping the rolls.
- There are many tutorials around how best to do that so I will not attempt to try and explain. Steamy Kitchen has a great way of doing it which is fairly foolproof. Check it out!
- Make a nice dipping sauce for dipping your rolls in and enjoy!