The other day at the park, my three-year-old ran up to me with a couple of his little friends and asked if we could have sushi for lunch, "because that's what Jack is having."
I said this was fine. And then the precocious mini foodies started discussing what type of sushi they wanted. One was after salmon and avocado, another said teriyaki chicken and Master N announced he wanted avocado and carrot and prawn. I was proud. At three, I don't think I knew what an avocado was, and I certainly wouldn't have stood for anything wrapped in seaweed. I know that kids liking sushi is unremarkable these days - Master N regularly has it at preschool. It's all about what is normal for them. With this in mind, and an unused papaw on my bench, I thought I would put it to good use on my prawn-loving youngster in a rice paper roll.
He'd never had rice paper rolls before, but I sat him up at the bench with some carrot sticks and he watched as I soaked each wrapper in turn and then he helped me lay the ingredients inside. He even had a go at rolling one, which ended with the rice paper wrapped around his fingers and everything else on the floor. Feeding his pet dragon that lives under the bench, he calls it, whenever he drops food. It's a fat dragon.
I made two versions of rolls: one with plain cooked prawns, avocado, carrot, slices of papaw drizzled with lime juice and coriander leaves for the kids, and the other with chilli and ginger prawns, shallots, carrot, papaw and coriander for me and Mr LP.
As mentioned in my papaya cheesecake post, papaws have a distinctive smell and getting kids to eat them willingly can be a challenge. I have found that the best way to introduce little people to anything they may be suspicious of is to either pair it something sweet or to hide it. In this case, I hid slices of yellow papaw behind shaved ribbons of orange carrot which were underneath orange prawns. I thought this was especially genius because one of the things Master N liked best about the rolls was how he could see through the rice paper to the contents. And the dipping in sauce bit.
He ate nearly half a roll before he screwed up his face and inspected the contents closely. He identified the rogue ingredient so fast it made me laugh. "What's this Mummy?" I told him it was papaw and that it was kind of like mango, which he loves. "I don't like it." And that was that until I pulled it out. The coriander too.
Mr LP though, scoffed three without blinking. So the verdict is that three year olds will be three year olds and that I would happily make these again for friends with drinks as canapés or a light and healthy entree with a tropical surprise. Haha, yes I just said that. Best of all, they're really, really easy and just as yum.
To learn more about the versatility of #aussiepapaw, visit www.australianpapaya.com.au
Prawn and Papaw Rice Paper Rolls
1 clove garlic, crushed
12 rice paper wrappers
24 medium sized green prawns, deveined and washed
1 carrot, peeled and shaved into ribbons
Half a papaw, peeled and sliced
Half an avocado, sliced
Juice of half a lime
Half a bunch of coriander
*For grown up version, add:
6 shallots (scallions), halved length ways and then chopped in two to make 12 halves
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
One Birdseye chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Juice of half a lime
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Sauté garlic in a tablespoon of oil (I used coconut oil) on medium high heat until just fragrant.
Add prawns and stir fry for three or four minutes until cooked (just firm and colour has changed to a coral pink). Place prawns on a plate and set aside until cooled.
Prepare carrots, papaw and avocado. Drizzle lime juice over papaw slices.
Soak each rice paper wrapper one at a time in a pan of warm water for 5 seconds and then lay flat on a chopping board and leave for 30 seconds to soften.
Place coriander leaves in centre of wrapper in a line, slightly overhanging the top. Leave about 2cm of space at the bottom for rolling.
Place a carrot ribbon on top, followed by slices of papaw, avocado and two prawns.
Roll up tightly from one side, stopping halfway to fold and tuck in the bottom.
Serve with dipping sauce.
For dipping sauce, mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
* For grown up version, add ginger and chilli to the prawns when stir frying. Add shallots to the rolls when assembling.