"These fresh spring rolls are simply a Vietnamese salad wrapped in rice paper. It can be difficult to learn how to roll the rice wrapper around all the filling tightly. It helps if the water used to dip the rice paper wrap is approximately 110 degrees F; otherwise, they become brittle and break easily. If you are in a hurry, simply julienne the filling ingredients and roll the paper around them."
2 ounces thin rice vermicelli
2 cups warm water
eight 8-inch round rice papers
4 large lettuce leaves, ribs removed
and leaves halved lengthwise
1 large carrot, grated
2 mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 ounces bean sprouts
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 quantity Spicy Thai Vinaigrette
1. Soak the vermicelli in the measured water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. To assemble the spring rolls, dip a sheet of rice paper in water (approximately 110 degrees F. And transfer to a work surface that is covered with a damp tea towel. After about 30 seconds, or when it is pliable, place a lettuce leaf over the bottom two-thirds of the rice paper, leaving a 1-inch border of paper at the bottom.
3. Place 2 tablespoons of vermicelli, 1 tablespoon of grated carrot, 2 slices of mango, some bean sprouts, basil and mint on top of the lettuce leaf. Fold up the bottom 1-inch border of rice paper and place over the tilling. Fold upward again to enclose the filling. Fold in the right, then the left edges of the rice paper. Continue folding until a tight cylinder is formed. Transfer to a serving platter and cover with damp paper towels until ready to serve. Repeat to make 8 rolls.
4. Just before serving, cut the spring rolls in half and accompany with the vinaigrette as a dipping sauce.
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped roughly
6 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
1 head of garlic, cut in half
1 tablespoon red chili paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 bunch cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Combine the first eight ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture while still on the heat. Remove from the heat, cool completely and strain. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
Kirk Wehher at Cafe Kati
East West Food
By Chris Benians—Barney Brown—Peter Gordon—Graham Harris—Michael Lee-Richards
Charles Phan—Stanislaus Soares—Chef Suki—Cass Titcombe—Kirk Webber
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created October 1999
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