This is the second recipe of the last try-out. This recipe is based on the recipe of one of my chefs at Spermalie, René De Baets. He still owns the copyright, of course. 😉 The recipe takes a lot of work, but it’s not so difficult to make. However the appetizer looks amazing and you can make everything before your guests arrive. That’s for me the biggest advantage of this recipe. Your guests arrive and it’s almost ready to serve. It’s the first time I write such a long recipe. So if something isn’t clear, feel free to write comments or ask for more information.

What do you need? (6-8 serves)

1. For the roll: 4 sheets of rice wrap paper, 4 thin slices of smoked salmon, fresh basil. 2. For the marinade: 1,5 dl of rice vinegar, 1,5 dl of water, 60 grams of sugar, salt, 1 red hot chili pepper, ginger syrup, grounded black pepper.

3. For the vegetables: Half of a leek, half of a cucumber, 1 carrot, fresh ginger. 4. For the salsa: olive oil, white (or black) balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, half of cucumber (that makes one cucumber in total), 2 tomatoes, black pepper, pitted black olives. 5. For the purée of carrot: 1 shallot, 1 carrot (that makes two carrots in total), a small piece of fresh ginger, butter, pepper and salt

What do you do?

Start with slicing the vegetables (nr. 3). Slice the leek, cucumber, carrot and ginger in julienne. Keep the cucumber aside. The easiest way is with a mandoline. Slice the vegetables, then cut the slices in little matchsticks or in julienne. (Julienne means: very thin matchsticks). If you don’t have a mandoline, it’s a lot of cutting. The thinner the vegetables are, the better the dish will be. So you really have to concentrate on your knife, the vegetables and your fingers. When your vegetables are “transformed” into julienne, take a little break: relax, drink a coffee or dance a bit to throw off the frustrations of the cutting work. Take your mandolin(e) and dance.

When you know how to dance the circle dance, it’s time to start with the marinade (nr. 2). Cook the water, sugar, salt and one chopped hot pepper. When the water is boiling, add the rice vinegar and ginger syrup and cut the heat. Put your vegetables in the marinade and marinate for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain and keep the vegetables aside.

While your vegetables are enjoying a sweet-and-sour bath, make the carrot purée. Chop the carrot and the shallot. Fry the shallot in butter, add the carrot and add a bit of water. Cook the carrots till they are tender. Season the carrots with pepper, salt and freshly grounded ginger. Blend the carrots until the mixture is smooth. If you want, you can strain it through a tamis or a (drum) sieve. Taste and season, if necessary with pepper and salt. When ready, put it in a piping bag (not obligated of course) and refrigerate.

On the pictures you see that I made three kinds of carrot purée. If you want to do this, feel free. It’s the same recipe, but instead of orange carrots, I used also yellow and purple carrots. The little balls are just little carrot balls that are steamed and spiced with pepper and salt.

Now make the tomato-olive salsa (4). Cut the tomatoes and the cucumber in brunoise (cubes of 2 to 3 mm square). Chop the basil and the olives. Mix everything with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the black pepper.

Now you can start with making the rolls (1). Take a large bowl with lukewarm water. Soak the sheets rice paper in the bowl for about 15 seconds, then drain well.

Slice the salmon very thin – if you not already bought it in slices. Take a sheet, place some salmon towards the lower edge of the rice paper, then the basil and finish with the marinated vegetables. Neatly fold the bottom edge of the rice paper over the filling. Roll up the rice paper roll to form a neatly packed cylinder (like a fat cigar). (click for a very good manual)

If you really want to make your guests go crazy on your presentation, deep-fry a bit of the julienne of carrot on 160°C and put it in a oven for half an hour on 70-80°C.

Good luck! And watch out for your fingers!