Nime Chow



While I was preparing the Thai Basil seeds for harvest, all I could think about was Nime Chow, a delicious spring roll made with fresh, crisp ingredients, namely Thai Basil. It’s not usually very expensive, but because we had a very tight schedule this weekend, we couldn’t make the time to get out to Apsara on Hope (the best Nime Chow, ever!), but we did have time to walk the two blocks to the Asiana for rice wraps & noodles.

Once I had them in my head, I couldn’t seem to shake the thought of these super delicious, refreshing rolls. There is a slight learning curve to preparing them, but it’s almost immediately rectified once you get into the rolling process.

If you want to make these, you need to have a few very specific things: rice wraps, cellophane noodles, bean sprouts & basil. Everything else is negotiable.

With what little we had on hand (mostly condiments like the vinegar & chili sauce), we were able to buy all of the ingredients for 30 Nime Chow for less than $10. That’s including the peanuts, which were probably the most expensive item. Everything else was well under $2, making each roll (with sauce) about 25¢ each. Who says eating well has to cost a lot of money?

For ours, we had a head of bok choi from our CSA that we hadn’t even touched yet, so that was a perfect perfect perfect addition to the rolls. Traditional rolls use a little lettuce and add shrimp; we didn’t feel like splurging on the shrimp (not to mention I don’t know how to handle or prepare shrimp and the rolls don’t really need it anyway), so I diced the bok choi stems and cut the greens into long strips, then soak, layer, roll, roll, roll!

This is my newest, most favorite thing. We even had them for breakfast this morning!

I find myself more and more attracted to food that has a process involved while eating. One of the most fantastic things about these rolls is that you first cut them in half, then spoon on some lime-vinegar peanut sauce and top with a tiny squirt of hot pepper sauce (the Chinese chili kind).The act of “building the bite” allows time for reflection and consideration, visual appeal, thankfulness and anticipation. When I look at my little roll, I see the cross section of sprouts, basil, noodles and I like to hold it in the mind for a moment, anticipating each flavor and texture. It’s an unbelievably pleasurable experience.


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