When I was a kid, many weekends involved a family visit to at least one fish market. Sometimes, cousins, uncles and aunties and grandparents came along. It was a social occasion. It was sight seeing. A big aquarium alternative where everything can be fashioned into a meal.
To quieten us and keep us content until our yum cha lunch or dinner, our parents would buy us crabsticks to snack on. I think they were 50 cents and I’m sure we knew they weren’t real crab, but it didn’t matter. According to Wiki, the word “surimi” literally translates to “fish puree or slurry” and I suppose things like other kiddie favourites like chicken nuggets, hot dogs and cherrios (saveloy) are similar in build.
These days I forget often about surimi as an ingredient. At my market, surimi comes in frozen vacuum sealed packs of 500 grams ($4) and 1 kilo ($7). This week the big Australian supermarket chains have frozen 1 kilo packs for just $5. Maybe that’s too cheap. You can often find surimi from the fresh seafood section of the supermarket, but I would stay away from those. You don’t know how long they have been thawed for. Better to thaw them yourself just before use.
It is summer here so I decided to make a surimi summer roll with nectarine. You could make a peanut dipping sauce or use Hoisin sauce. Hoisin literally means “seafood” which is quite fitting. Though it does not actually contain seafood. Mine comes from a jar.
with surimi and nectarine
250 grams (half a pound) surimi (imitation crab meat)
1 small carrot
10 cm (4″)length of cucumber
12 round rice paper sheets
Hoisin sauce for dipping
- Remove surimi from freezer and thaw.
- Peel and cut carrot into thin 10 cm (4″) long strips. Set aside.
- Peel the cucumber if you wish and cut into thin 10 cm (4″) long strips. Set aside.
- Peel the nectarine and cut flesh into strips. Set aside.
- Once surimi has thawed, break apart into pieces. Set aside.
- Add water to a dinner plate and immerse a sheet of rice paper for 2 seconds. Lift and drip dry for a few seconds, then lay on a clean chopping board. The rice paper will continue to soften on standing.
- Aiming for an imaginary horizontal strip in the centre of the sheet, place 2 pieces of surimi, then top with 2 pieces of nectarine 2 slices of cucumber and 2 slices of carrot.
- When the rice paper has softened enough to bend without breaking (about 30 seconds), fold the 2 edges towards the centre, the bottom edge to the centre and roll up.
- Place summer roll on a serving platter.
- Repeat until you have 12 rolls.
- Cut each roll in half if you like and serve with a small dish of Hoisin sauce.