Sunday, June 20, 2010

California Summer Rolls

I bought some of these summer rolls made by a local sushi place. Even though they are very plain, they taste so refreshing to me. I love cucumbers and avocados so maybe that's why I like these. They are like the California sushi rolls without the rice and seaweed. I also really like the spring roll wrapper that they used. It's very soft and not like the ones I have used before. I finally bought this one brand recommended by some people and I think I found the right wrapper! It tastes exactly like the one the sushi place uses.

Anyway, on a hot summer day when I don't feel like eating anything too heavy, these are great. These are also great because there is hardly any cooking involved. Making the tamago (omelette) is pretty easy.

Makes about a dozen rolls

1 cucumber
1 avocado
1 small package of imitation crab/lobster sticks or cooked shrimp
Tamago (Japanese omelette)
Spring Roll wrapper (Three Ladies Brand)
Spring Roll sauce (see picture)

1. Prep and cook the Tamago. See recipe below.
2. Cut the cucumber and avocado into long slices or strips (about 2 inches long, 1/2inch wide). Cut the crab or lobster sticks in half lengthwise. If using cooked shrimp, cut the shrimp in half lenthwise as well.
3. Fill a large deep bowl with hot water and put in a single sheet of wrapper into the bowl. I work with just one wrapper at a time to make it easier. Once the wrapper is soft and pliable, take out the wrapper and put it on a plate. You can put the wrapper on top of a dish cloth too, to soak up some of the water.
4. Assemble on top of the wrapper with one seafood stick or 2 shrimp haves. Top it with 1-2 strips of cucumber, 1 strip of avocado, and 1 strip of the tamago. These ingredients should all be clumped together. Then roll the right and left sides of the wrapper in, and then finally rolling into a roll. I didn't take any step by step photos this time, so feel free to reference here on how to roll these.

Tamago Ingredient and Recipe:
3 eggs
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce

1. Mix all ingredients well.
2. It's kind of tricky explaining the cooking part, so I recommend just following some videos on YouTube such as this one. I just used a regular round non-stick pan to make mine.
3. Cut the omelette into strips and set aside.

This is the lazy sauce I used for these rolls. This is also the same sauce I used (and mixed) for the rice rolls. I usually make a homemade sauce for other types of spring/summer rolls, but too lazy! Eventually, I'll make some more and different rolls, so maybe I'll post those and the sauce one of these days.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

1st Restaurant Review: Amazing Thailand, Minneapolis

I think I mentioned this before, and in case you haven't noticed, my favorite foods are Thai, Vietnamese and Italian. My coworker who likes similar food as I do recommended this Thai restaurant in uptown Minneapolis called Amazing Thailand. He's been there a couple of times already, so I wanted to try it out for myself. The only other Thai restaurants I've tried are Taste of Thailand in St. Paul and Sawatdee in uptown a long time ago.

Just about everything we ordered was good. I was truly impressed. We ordered the Thai beef salad, red curry, Pad See Iew noodles, and papaya salad. My coworker told me their papapya salad was really good. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was that great. I was hoping it would taste more like the papaya salad I had at The Thai House in Fresno, CA. Somehow they made it simple, but so good. It's still one of my favorite restaurants because I grew up eating there.

Anyway, when you drive by Amazing Thailand, it's easy to miss because of all the shops around uptown, but you'll be surprised inside. It's actually a nicer Asian restaurant than most you see in the Twin Cities area. It is professionally and tastefully decorated with a Thai/Asian theme throughout. The interior was dark due to minimal lighting. They do have some seating outdoors in a small alley and out the front of the restaurant. I actually liked the small alley because it had some unique furniture and it just felt unique being out there, but my husband didn't like it at all. He said it was in an alley, but I thought it felt really exotic being outside. I'm not that big of a fan of dark-interior restaurants, but oh least the food won me over. The service was good too. If I had to compare this to the two Thai restaurants in the Cities, I would rate this one above the other two because food was great, service was good, and the interior was nice. I do like the curry dish at Taste of Thailand more though, but T-of-T service is really slow. Every time we go there, there's like an hour wait to get our food and just when we think they forgot about us, we finally get our food and forgive them after we eat their curry dish. I won't even compare those two restaurants with Sawatdee. I only been there once and it was never that impressive. I'll have to try other Thai restaurants in the future.

So if you like Thai food, I would highly recommend Amazing Thailand. I meant to order a different noodle dish than the one I ordered, but I ordered the wrong one. Either way, it was still good. Yum. I was hoping that my family from WI would come up here and I have another reason to go out to eat, but maybe next time!

Rating: Highly recommended. 4/5 stars for a restaurant in its class. Why only 4? I wish their papaya salad was good as well. I'm probably being too picky, but a 4 in my book is a 5. haha

(Sorry I took the above pic with my cell phone. I didn't know I was going to do a review). :P