“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, educational aide Lisa Valentine cuts up vegetables and fruit for Asian-style food wraps.
Lisa Valentine’s wrap sessions do not include lyrics or big beats.
The mix puts onions, carrots, apples, zucchini and cabbage into motion. And big flavor on plates.
Valentine’s Asian wraps were inspired by Thinn Oo, one of her culinary colleagues at SCCC. She watched Myanmar native Oo make her wraps and decided to try her own interpretation. The addition of apples was her personal innovation.
Most of the ingredients are sliced julienne — long thin strips — and cooked in stages with sesame oil. Wrapping the vegetable and fruit mix in rice papers is not difficult. “It just takes a little practice,” Valentine said.
“You want to keep a nice little tight grip on it,” she said of the rice paper roll-up. “Not too tight to rip it, and then just roll it.”
The wraps can be served hot or cold. The wraps themselves can even be fried in cooking oil.
Some diners may want to dip the wraps into a mixture of mayonnaise and Sriachi sauce. “You can add a little bit of honey or lemon juice for sweetness, but I like it just the way it is,” Valentine said.
1 to 2 ounces, sesame oil
1 onion, sliced thin
1⁄2 carrot, julienne cut or grated
1⁄2 head cabbage sliced thin (you can substitute nappa cabbage, also known as celery cabbage)
1⁄2 zucchini, julienne cut
1⁄2 yellow squash, julienne cut
1 small apple, julienne cut
1⁄2 cup sweet soy sauce
1 package rice paper wraps
To make wraps: Put sesame oil in a saute pan, let it get hot. Add onions and carrots, saute for a few minutes. Add cabbage and cook another 2 minutes, then add the zucchini, squash and apple. Cook until translucent.
Add sweet soy sauce and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and add more soy sauce if needed. Turn burner off and let pan sit.
In large round or a square baking pan, add hot water (not too hot to burn your hands, but hot enough so you can handle). Working one at a time, dip the rice paper wrap into the hot water for a few seconds, then place on cutting board. Repeat until you have a few on the cutting board (keep separated from each other to prevent sticking).
Using a slotted spoon, drain off the liquid from the vegetable and fruit mixture. Place 2 tablespoons of mixture, in a line, onto center of wrap. Fold wrap edge closest to you over mixture. Then fold in each side and continue to roll wrap firmly, being careful not to break wrap.
Variation: Instead of wraps, stir vegetable and fruit mixture into soaked bean thread noodles (1 large package or 2 small ones).
Sauce for wrap:
1 cup mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup Sriachi sauce (add more or less, depending on taste)
Mix together, taste and adjust as needed.
Wraps can be dipped in the mayonnaise and Sriachi sauce.