I would have to say that these are probably one of my most favorite things in the world to eat! And they are extremely healthy. Basically they are a fresh salad in a rice wrap. They are definitely worth the time assembling them. Cynthia, Bob and I all cut and assembled these in no time flat. You can make them a day ahead if you like. The problem is that they are so delicious you tend to eat them once you roll them, but that's ok...no one will be watching you right?
- 1-2 packages of banh trang rice papers 8- inches round
- 1 bunch of Boston lettuce or bag of spinach leaves
- 1-2 small seedless cucumbers, peeled and cut into strips
- 1 cup of shredded carrots
- 1 bunch of bean sprouts
- 1 lb of cooked shrimp, rinsed and drained
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into strips
- 1 handful of chives cut into 3-inch strips
- 3 scallions, cut into 1-inch long pieces and julienned
- 1 bunch of mint leaves
- Spicy Peanut Sauce, recipe follows
Be sure to cut all of the veges and mango before you assemble. Once this done, things will go fast. Having a 2-3 others help you is useful! --Especially people who are good at rolling burritos. It’s pretty similar.
Soak one rice paper in lukewarm water until pliable, about 5 minutes. Work with only 1 paper at a time and blot dry before assembling. I put a frying pan on the stove and heat water and place the rice paper in the heated water until pliable. You put the rice paper in the water only once you are ready to roll another one.
To assemble: Place 1 soaked rice paper on a clean flexible cutting mat or large plate, leaving 1-inch of the rice paper uncovered on the edge closest to you. Place 1 lettuce leaf (or a few spinach leaves) on the sheet. Top with a portion of the cucumbers, carrots, shrimp, mango, chives, sprout, scallions, and mint leaves. (You can really add whatever you like here-but to me the mint and mango is the kicker to having fantastic summer rolls in my opinion). Fold the paper once over the filling, starting from the bottom, then fold in the sides and continue rolling tightly to the end. Keep rolls covered with a damp paper towel and cover with saran wrap. I usually make enough until my fillings run out. Sometimes this is 1 to 1.5 packages of rice paper. Serve with Spicy Peanut Sauce.
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts, finely ground
- 1/4 cup palm sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/2 cup packed fresh Thai basil leaves, minced
- 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, minced
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce and continue to stir for about 1 minute. Add the peanuts and stir, roasting until two shades darker but not burned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to cook until the sugar is dissolved and starts to caramelize, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, tamarind concentrate, and hoisin sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce until slightly thickened, about 20 to 30 minutes. The natural oils from the peanuts should have surfaced at this point. Once the sauce has reduced by about 1/3, turn off the heat and add the Thai basil and cilantro. Cover and let cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.