Spring Rolls with Honey-Ginger Pork and Asian Noodles

Anyone that can make homemade Asian food taste just like that salty, probably MSG-laden stuff in the white takeout containers that comes to my door on a lazy Friday night, bravo.  Of course, even though scarfing down homemade Shrimp Lo Mein probably feels much better on the body because you know exactly what you're putting in it, there's just something different about takeout food that feels oh-so-guilty and pleasurable.  Most likely because someone else made it.  With that being said, these spring rolls won't taste like takeout.  Why lie?  However, they do taste like sweet and salty packages of pork perfection.  (Props to anyone who can tell me what grammatical element that sentence contains.)  The pork works with teriyaki and honey, and the noodle salad mellows out the sweetness, making this spring roll a fun appetizer!

What You'll Need:

For the pork
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder
For the noodles
  • 1/2 pound rice noodles
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 pound green beans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10-12 rice paper sheets

1.  In a skillet, start to brown the pork over medium-high heat.  Whisk honey, ginger, teriyaki, red pepper flakes, and seasonings to taste.  Pour over pork and continue to let it cook until it has browned completely.  When pork has browned and sauce has been absorbed, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Let cool.

2.  Cook rice noodles according to package directions, or until desired texture.  Drain and cool.  Meanwhile, in the same skillet you cooked your meat, drain most of the excess oil, leaving about two tablespoons.  Toss in green onions, carrots, and green beans for about five minutes, allowing them to soak up some flavor.  Remove from heat, toss in pasta and let cool.

3.  Whisk rice wine vinegar, olive oil, teriyaki sauce, toasted sesame seeds and salt and pepper.  Pour over noodles and toss to coat.  It should be a light coat.

4.  Prep work station with a large bowl of hot water, still warm enough to handle, and a damp, clean kitchen towel.  Soak each rice paper sheet in hot water as you use them (not all at once), until they become pliable and soft.  Remove from water and lay on towel.  Leaving about one inch at the bottom of the sheet, lay down about about 1 1/2 tablespoons of pork, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of noodles.  If you find that is too much to work with, scale it back.  Fold in sides of rice paper sheet, then fold from the bottom and roll.  Repeat.  Cover and refrigerate for about an half hour until they are cool and slightly firm to the touch.  Serve with a sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce on the side for dipping!  Enjoy!


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