Sunday 2 March 2014

Mushroom and walnut rice paper rolls with spaghetti squash 'noodles'

I was so excited to find spaghetti squash last week. It was a real random find. I quickly ducked into a shop I never go into & found them completely by accident. I love trying out new produce and ingredients so it was a big find for me AND in true EV fashion I've been banging on about it ever since!! So today I finally had some time on my hands to spend experimenting. I only had half a squash to work with as I gave half away to a friend to try.

Luckily my squash came with instructions.... so I had a rough idea on how to prepare it without having to do any research.

I bought two cut halves so I decided instead of boiling (as per above instructions), to steam it. I gave it 25 mins in my Thermomix Varoma, but you could get the same result in a traditional steamer.

After steaming, I used a fork to rake out the strands. It really was amazing the way they separated instantly like noodles!

 The first thing that came to mind, was how much they looked like vermicelli noodles. 

They also had a similar texture, so I decided to make some ricepaper rolls. My fridge is looking a little bare at the moment, so I didn't have many ingredients to work with! This only made the challenge more interesting. The ingredients came about because thats what I found in the bottom of the fridge.

You wouldn't have know that it was spaghetti squash and not vermacilli noodles! We really enjoyed them -  I hope you do too!!

If you can't source spaghetti squash,you can easily replace with vermicelli noodles. For a vegan option swap out oyster sauce for hoisin sauce.

Mushroom and walnut rice paper rolls 

Makes 16 - 20 rolls


Mushroom & walnut paste
70 gms walnuts
2cms of leek (white part) OR
half an onion if you don't have any leeks (white onion would be best)
3 large garlic cloves
small knob of peeled ginger (about a teaspoon)
400gms mushroom (mine were field mushrooms, but other varieties or a mixture would work fine)
10gms sesame oil
15gms soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce - replace with hoisin sauce for a vegetarian/vegan option
freshly chopped chilli or a dash of sweet chilli sauce - optional 

Rice paper roll filling
Steamed spaghetti squash strands - approximately 200gms***
1 large carrot
1 stick of celery
3 shallots sliced finely
1/2 large red capsicum cut into strips
a handful of fresh herbs - coriander, mint, thai basil are my favorities
a pinch of sesame seeds

Dipping sauce

1 clove garlic
1/4 cup of fish sauce 
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
2 tbsps palm sugar/rapadura sugar/brown sugar
1 fresh chilli sliced
diced coriander leaves

*** My half squash produced approximately 550gms of strands - you you could make a double batch, but may need to adjust cooking time for the mushroom paste - I would continue in 5 min lots until you get the desired paste consistency. 

Thermomix method:

Mushroom walnut paste.
-Add 70gms of walnuts to dry Thermomix bowl. Chop 1 sec | Turbo. Set aside
-Add 2cm of leek, or 1/2 white onion, small knob of ginger and 3 large garlic cloves to bowl and chop 4 secs | Spd 7.
-Add 400gms mushrooms, chop 2 secs | Spd 5
-Add remaining ingredients and cook 8-10 mins | Varoma | Spd 2 with the MC off  the mixture should have a paste like consistency. Remove from the bowl and mix with walnuts. Don't bother cleaning the TM bowl, any residual mushroom paste will dress the carrot and celery and add flavour.
-Peel carrot and roughly chop carrot and celery. Add to TM bowl and chop 4 secs | Spd 5

Dipping sauce
-add 1 clove garlic to TM bowl chop 1 sec | spd 7 scrape down side with spatula
-add remaining ingredients except chilli and mix 5 secs | Spd 4
-remove from bowl and stir in chilli with a teaspoon

Conventional method:

-roughly chop walnuts and set aside
Food processor:
-If you have a food processor, add the following to your food processor bowl - 2cm of leek, or 1/2 white onion, small knob of ginger and 3 large garlic cloves and process until fine. Set aside
-Add 40gms mushrooms to food processor bowl and chop until fine.
By hand:
 If you don't have a food processor, chop onion finely, grate ginger and crush garlic with a garlic crusher. Finely dice 400gms mushrooms.
-heat sesame oil in a wok, add onion/garlic/ginger mix and stir fry until cooked. Add mushrooms and stir fry well, add oyster or hoisin sauce and soy sauce and continue to stirfry until cooked. Depending on how smooth you managed to chop your mushrooms, you might want to add the whole mix back into a food processor or blender to get it into a paste consistency.
-once finished, mix with walnuts
-peel and grate carrot and finely dice celery

Dipping sauce
-crush garlic clove into a bowl
-add sugar, then fish sauce then lime, mix well with a whisk or a fork
-add coriander and chilli

How to wrap your rice paper roll:
- fill a plate with warm water and submerge your rice paper wrap in there until it softens. You need to be careful you don't soften it too much though or it will be too wet to wrap.
-place your wrap down on a board and spread a teaspoon of mushroom mix, and layer on your spaghetti squash (or vermicelli noodles if you can't fine spaghetti squash) followed by carrot and celery mix, slice of capsicum and shallots and fresh herbs.
-wrap as per the photos below - the packet of rice paper wraps will also have instructions.

Don't overfill them is my biggest tip! Or you'll have a big hot mess.

Serve with dipping sauce, fresh lime wedges and green paw paw pickles.... if you're lucky enough to have a jar!


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