Executive Chef’s Quinoa And Glass Noodle Spring Rolls W/ Shrimp

When I was the executive sous chef for a high profile aviation catering company, I worked insane hours (3 a.m. – 7 p.m.). Most days I was so busy, I wouldn’t eat at all. My executive chef noticed this habit that I carried with me from restaurant to restaurant. Occasionally, he would slide something like this in front of me and say, “You need to eat something.” It was silently appreciated with a quick glance between prepping, a faint grin from the corner of my mouth and the ever consistent answer of “Yes Chef” that echoes repetitiously through every restaurant kitchen. The plate would then get placed out of the way until I could try and take 3 minutes to reluctantly eat it, (I simply don’t like to eat when I’m working). His compassion for my well-being is something I’ve taken with me for several years and so now I’m sharing it with you. “You need to eat something.”

1 ½ c glass noodles, cooked according to package directions

6 rice paper spring roll wraps

1 c Quinoa, cooked, drained and rinsed

1 tbs Cucumber, seeded and minced

2 tsp fresh cilantro, minced

1 tsp yellow bell pepper, seeded and minced

1/4 c matchstick carrots

1 c cilantro leaves

6 slices red bell pepper, sliced ½” x 2″

6 slices yellow bell pepper, sliced ½” x 2″

1 green onion, sliced

18 medium shrimp, cooked, devained and peeled

First, combine the quinoa, cucumber, minced bell pepper and minced cilantro in a bowl. Mix well. Now, soften the rice paper. To get these ready, fill a rimmed plate with warm water and set the paper in the water, 1 sheet at a time. I like to run my finger around the edges, then across the entire paper until I can barely feel the imprints of the designs. You should not allow them to become too soft. Lay your paper on a clean nonstick surface and make a small pile of ¼ c noodles. Form it into a log shape about 1 ½” x 4″. Top with about 2 tbs of the couscous mixture. Garnish with 1 slice of red bell pepper, 1 slice of yellow bell pepper and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves and green onions. Finish it off with 3 shrimp. Roll it up like a short cigar. Fold the ends in. Then, roll away from you. Repeat process. You can arrange these on freshly washed lettuce or cabbage leaves. This should give you 6 – 5″ x 3″ spring rolls.

“You need to eat something.”