Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wednesday, July 1st - Canada Jazz Festival and Sha-lin takeaway

Last night when I got a last minute call to the Reef, I had already made dinner, Asian cold rolls. But when anyone is up for the Reef and I can get my Ackee and Saltfish. Asian cold rolls are perfect when you feel you need something light yet filling. Now there is a bit of chopping and prepping but it's so worth it. You can also do what I did and prep all the ingredients and let people make them as you go.

So I did manage to have one before hoping on my bike to the Reef but I wasn't sure when we'd get to them so I had some for 'brunch'. D was taking the morning off for Canada Day to ride his motorbike with a friend who has one too. They hit Cypress Mountain and some of the road along the North Shore. He promised he'd get back for noon at the latest since there was actually quite alot going on in town that I wanted to catch.

Asian Cold Rolls

Noodle stuffing:
1/2 package (or two pucks) of rice/bean vermicelli noodles (photo pending, normally they come in a cellophane pack of four pucks similar to the noodles that come in instant ramen)
1T fresh basil chiffonade (ribboned)
1T fresh mint
1/2 T chili flakes
2T sesame oil
1/2 T light soy
Boil the noodles for five minutes and drain and rinse with ice cold water. Toss with the oil and herbs. Cut with scissors so you have shorter threads. Set aside and chill.

Other stuffing:
1 carrot julienned, quickly sauteed until soft
1/2 medium zuccini julienned, quickly sauteed until soft or raw, as you like
8 shrimps poached quickly in simmering water until pink. I used the water I boiled the noodles in since I lifted the noodles out with a chinese sieve. Set aside to cool then slice the bodies in half like when they're butterflied.
2-3 leaves of curly endive destemmed and chopped (I also quickly sauteed these too)
1/2 c fresh cilantro chopped
2 spring onions sliced
1/4 c fresh basil

Peanut sauce: 2T peanut butter, 1T light soy, 1/2T sesame oil, 1T rice wine vinegar, chili sauce to taste, whisk until smooth. Add more water or vinegar to thin out. Play with the proportions if you like it sweeter use mirin.
Chili vinegar: Just soak some chili flakes in mirin and wine or rice wine vinegar
Wasabi Soy: typical sushi dipping fare, easy peasy. Whisk some wasabi into a small dish of light soy.

The 'WRAP' are rice wraps that come in various circle sizes, I have the 8" diameter one. They come dehydrated in packs of like 50. I'll take a photo of the pack and post soon. They are white and slightly translucent and VERY brittle.

So have all the stuffings and acoutrements chilled and ready. This will help the rolling success. At this point you can choose to make them or serve all the fixings on the table and have a pie plate on the table with room temperature water. Make sure everyone's hands are clean. Place a rice rap in the the water and submerge in the water by pressing down. Let sit for 15-30 seconds. They don't need to be super soaked, I've made that mistake in the past and they tear really easily. You will have similar results if the water is too hot. Lift out the wrap by the edges and spread on your plate. Don't over fill. The vermicelli are the base and fill like a burrito with a sausage like amount of filling down the center line. When you've filled to your liking, bring up the shorter ends. Use water to help the sticking. Then roll the long ends in and roll up. You're never going to get them as tight as in the restaurants, or at least I can't :-P so don't feel bad. Dip in the sauce of your preference.

Other fillings that work are smoke salmon, cucumbers, chives, bean sprouts or alphalfa sprouts.

When D got back we hit the Vancouver Jazz Festival stages on Granville Island then mid afternoon hit the Yaletown Grand Prix. It's a lap race on touring cycles through Yaletown. It's quite something to watch. The turns are tight, the roads are crap and they are going FAST! We were meant to meet up with friends at Toyo's but they called an audible too and stayed at Granville Island so we got takeaway at my favourite noodle joint on Broadway so we could have it leisurely with some nice wine. Tonight is a school night, unfortunately. Canada Day falls on a Wednesday :-( Toyo's is still a must try since its staying power is admirable. It was trapped behind the Cambie construction for 3 years. It had the worse position too right at the foot of the bridge with no through sidewalk.

I had Cumin Hela Noodle with Vegetables and Tofu and D had the Curry Noodle with Seafood. It was the first time I've had the Hela noodle. I always get the cumin because I know I'll enjoy it. It's not a fancy place so the rest of the sauces taste fairly run of the mill. But no matter which you order all the noodles are made to order in heaping portions. The Hela noodles are extruded round chunky noodles and might move into my pref. Cutting are my other fav. They are cut with a little paring knife rapidly into the water so sort of look like wood peels when someone 'widdles'. Other choices include pulled where the famous lump is folded, bounced twisted, folded to get very fine noodles and cutting where it is rolled out and cut. All made to order only.

Sha-Lin Noodle House
548 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
Just West of Cambie
Pick up and Eat in only
Jazz festival, quiet night after Gastown Shaolin takeaway.

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