One of the things I’ve read in self-help business books, absorbed from my favorite podcasts and basically just learned along the way of life is that the most successful people are the ones who delegate.
Delegation = Getting Shit Done.
Once upon a time I fancied myself a great delegator. I could look at a situation, see the vision of what needed to get done, figure out the most efficient path to achieve it and direct the peeps in my camp to go forth and prosper.
But lately, I feel like I’ve lost my knack in finding the track. And it’s left me feeling a little defeated and floundering like a fish out of water.
That said, my husband will still say I’m bossy. I prefer to call it delegating to others by educating them in my view of efficiencies. Okay, I admit it, I’m a nag.
So why is it so hard to let others help? To not just do it all yourself? To share those details you’ve learned in the school of hard knocks? Hey, it’s okay to stop being the martyr!
One of the best and worst parts of working as a solopreneur behind the curtain of a 27-inch HD computer screen is exactly that: you work by yourself. You do the drudge work, you own the good with the bad.
But you can also find yourself reverting to that 6-year-old who has to learn how to share—all over again.
Because when you share, good things happen.
I’m working on it. I’m forcing myself to get back into the hang of teaching others but leaving the bossy behind. I don’t have ALL of the great ideas—but I do have a few of them—and giving up the reins every once in a while is good. It’s good for me to learn from others and teach what I know too.
Because that’s what bloggers like me do.
So I’m going to roll with this delegation thing. Starting with these hand rolled babies.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls are essentially a salad in a portable, hand-held and edible delivery device. And with plenty of chopping, assembling and wrapping to be done, they’re the perfect delegating task. BOOM! Delegation task #1: DONE!
Making spring rolls at home isn’t hard, but it does help to have a teacher share the tips and tricks in the secrets of rolling. This tutorial is super helpful and I turn to them when I find myself forgetting the nuances like cutting the shrimp in half then laying them pretty side down so they wrap all pretty and stuff. Here’s an example.
Especially when you serve them in a hollowed out cucumber boat. BOOM! Another task delegated to my friend Adam. How clever is that? Pretty clever and just another example of delegating and things miraculously happen. By others, not you!
About the recipe
Most Vietnamese spring rolls have boiled or steamed shrimp tucked inside their rice wrapper goodness. This time around, I peeled and de-tailed my shrimp, then marinaded the them for about 30 minutes in a super simple sauce to add a little more flavor before they hit the skewer. I used metal skewers, but if you use wood, be sure to soak them for about 30 minutes before skewering.
I cooked my shrimp on the grill because I was craving a nice, broiled char on the little crustaceans. Plus, grilling is just so easy and so fast during summer months. If you don’t have a grill, sear the shrimp in a fry pan over medium-high heat in a bit of olive oil, turning after 2-3 minutes on each side.
The important part of spring rolls is the combination of crunchy veggies with the slippery rice vermicelli noodles. I switch my veggies in and out depending on what’s in the fridge. For crunch, consider red, orange or yellow bell peppers, jicama, carrots, bean sprouts, cucumbers and even zucchini.
Fresh herbs—and an assortment of them—are essential to the flavor. So don’t skimp. I love Thai basil for it’s licorice-ey taste, fresh mint leaves and of course cilantro, which I add to the rolls stem, leaf and all.
These rolls should be eaten the day they’re made. Refrigerating overnight can begin to make the rice paper a little tough and not as pliable to the bite. That said, I ate these the next day for lunch, and served them for dinner the next night, and they were still totally delectable, although a wee bit more toothsome.
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp, 16-20 per pound. I prefer Key West pink shrimp because they're super sweet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10-12 8-inch round rice paper wrappers
- 6 ounces rice or vermicelli noodles, softened in hot water and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved and then thinly sliced
- 2 cups spring green lettuces
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves
- ½ cup mint leaves
- Peanut and Nuac Cham Dipping Sauces
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 3-4 limes, juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons grated carrot
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Shell and remove the tails from the shrimp and rinse. Place in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, lime juice and lime zest and season with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Skewer the shrimp and heat the grill to medium heat. Brush the grill with oil or cooking spray and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side then remove and let cool.
- When cooled, remove the shrimp from the skewers and slice in half from head to tail and set aside.
- Fill a large plate or pyrex dish with warm water, dip a rice wrapper into the warm water and completely submerge the wrapper for 1 minute. Set on the wrapper on a clean, flat surface and arrange a few slices of the veggies and herbs on the bottom ⅓ of the wrapper then top with a few lettuce leaves, a small handful of the vermicelli noodles then more veggie slices and herbs.
- Place 3 shrimp halves, grilled side down, on the rice paper just above the pile of the vermicelli and veggie pile. Fold the bottom of rice paper over vermicelli and veggie pile and roll over to form a cylinder. Fold in the two sides of the cylinder to make a package and keep folding over until it resembles a burrito shaped roll. Cut in half or in thirds, and serve with peanut and nuac cham dipping sauces.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Serve at room temperature.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until sugar has dissolved. Serve at room temperature.
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