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Recipe: California Fresh Crab & Avocado Summer Rolls with Creamy Miso Yogurt
Yay for my first new recipe of 2019! I came up with this recipe while I was walking along thinking of upcoming recipes on one of my several-weekly trips between the big Waitrose, vegetable market and Whole Foods in Fulham a few months ago, thinking how great it would be to put the flavours of the classic California Roll (the first sushi I fell in love with) in a Vietnamese-style summer roll, but using fresh crab (because imitation crab sticks scare me!), with a creamy, tangy, earthy miso yogurt on the side for copious dipping.
I’m making a definite effort to be better about my food in 2019. Doing my job it is too easy to eat too much of the things that are terrible for you and not enough of the healthy stuff, even though it is usually the healthy option I usually love and gravitate more towards. I don’t believe in dieting, but I also know that I overindulged a bit too much throughout December, that I don’t feel entirely comfortable in my clothes anymore, and that I have a beautiful iced plum, floor length, and most importantly slinky bridesmaid’s dress hanging in my wardrobe for my best friend’s wedding in April that I will be heartbroken if I have to shoehorn myself into.
So, I’m back to power walking every day it is not pouring with rain or the ground is not covered in snow – a habit I fell out of a bit over the festive period – and only drinking on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and when I’m out with friends – something else that fell by the wayside over Christmas. Also, I’m making more of an effort in my menu planning, going to dishes that are mostly vegetable heavy, that don’t rely on added sugars or fats that are not extra virgin olive oil, or too many carbs that are not good carbs, like brown rice that will happily release energy for you throughout the day. Except for white pasta. You’ll pry my white pasta out of my cold, dead hands.
So, these summer rolls. I’ve replaced the double whammy of rice noodle with shredded gem lettuce, and white crab meat is one of the healthiest, leanest proteins out there, even if it is a little pricy – totally worth it for a lunchtime treat like this, though! Also, the recipe here for the Creamy Miso Yogurt makes more than you’ll probably need for dipping. You can half the recipe, or you can use it in place of the almost identical dressing in my Avocado & Blush Orange Salad with Miso Yogurt Dressing.
These easy summer rolls are packed with the fresh, fishy flavour of freshly picked white crab meat, creamy avocado and crunchy greens. Served with a creamy miso yogurt dip, they’re a super healthy, but also slightly indulgent lunchtime treat.
For the Summer Rolls
1 Medium Avocado, sliced
1 Baby Gem Lettuce, thinly shredded
1/4 Unpeeled English Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
Small Handful Fresh Coriander, leaves picked
50g (2 oz) Fresh Picked White Crab Meat
6 Rice Paper Sheets
For the Creamy Miso Yogurt
4 tbsp Natural Yogurt
1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Red Miso Paste
Juice of 1/2 Lime
First, make the miso yogurt dip by stirring together all the ingredients until combined. Set aside.
Next, prepare the ingredients for your summer rolls. Make sure you have lots of clean workspace, a clean cutting board to build your rolls on, a clean plate to put the finished rolls on, and your prepared ingredients set out for easy access on another.
In a large bowl of tap-hot water, gently soak a rice paper sheet until the lines have softened out, then carefully stretch the disk out on your clean cutting board, careful to smooth out any wrinkles and not to make any tears. This is delicate work, but I promise that practice will make perfect.
About 1/3 up the bottom of your disk, lay a couple of cucumber matchsticks, slices of avocado, a little crab and coriander, and some lettuce.
Fold the bottom of the rice paper sheet over the filling, sealing it with a little water, then fold over both sides, so you’ll have a loose roll at the bottom, with a triangle of rice paper at the top. Roll the triangle around the roll. Repeat until you’ve used up each of the rice paper sheets and your fillings; careful not to overfull them as they’ll split. Again, knowing how much to fill each roll with is another one of those practice makes perfect things.
Serve the rolls as is, or to present them on a platter like I have if you’ve scaled the recipe up for sharing, slice them down the middle with a very sharp knife and serve cut side up to show the fillings.
If you don’t have or can’t find red miso paste, brown rice miso paste or white miso taste will also work well, but will add a slightly different flavour to your yogurt dip.
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