These wee wraps are vibrant and refreshing, and are great for a lunch spread full of small plates or as a pre-dinner nibble if cut in half. I love the tanginess of the grapefruit with the soft creamy crab and avocado, but if you are not a fan of that marriage, feel free to omit the grapefruit.
16 rice paper wrappers
For the filling
selection of edible flowers (such as pansies, garlic flowers and nasturtiums)
400g (14oz) white crab meat
2 avocados, peeled stoned and finely sliced
½ cucumber, deseeded and cut into fine vertical slices
4 spring onions, finely shredded
½ pink grapefruit, peeled, segmented and very finely sliced
small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked
1 small head of crispy lettuce, shredded
50g (1¾oz) white sesame seeds
For the dipping sauce
1 tablespoon caster sugar
juice of 1 large lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
or crushed roasted peanuts
Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water. Soak a wrapper in the water for a few seconds to soften it a little (it will soften further as you work with it), then lay it on a chopping board or work surface.
Press a few pansies (or whichever flowers you are using) face down in a row across the top half of the wrapper (furthest from you). Stack a dolly mixture of your fillings on the wrapper in a row below the flowers, packing them together as tightly as possible. It doesn’t matter about which order the ingredients go into the wrapper, or how much or how little of each ingredient you use – make the rolls to your taste.
Fold the right and left sides of the wrapper inwards over the fillings, then roll up the wrapper from the edge closest to you, keeping the filling ingredients tightly packed together as you roll. Because the flowers are positioned on the last part of the wrapper to be rolled up, they should be clearly visible on the outside of the roll through the final layer of the translucent wrapper. Place the roll on a plate with the seam facing downwards. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Ensure the finished rolls do not touch one another on the plate, as they will stick. Keep the finished rolls covered with a damp cloth as you are working.
To make the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a jug until the sugar has dissolved. Serve in a wee bowl on the side of the rolls.
Extracted from Gatherings by Flora Shedden. Available here