Rice paper salad rolls
I absolutely love these rolls. Light, fresh and oh so pretty, they totally blew me over. The dipping sauce is a clever little mix of the right sauces, resulting in a beautifully balanced tangy-spicy-salty-sweet thin nectar that lightly coats the rolls, transforming the yummy crunchy fresh roll into a thing of even more joy. Do give this a shot. Healthy. Easy as pie. Refreshing. Delicious. You would never believe it is almost a salad.
The Dipping Sauce
3 clove garlic, chopped
1 red chili, chopped
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Mix all the above and keep aside for atleast 30 minutes so the flavours marry well.
The Rice Paper Rolls
Mung bean vermicilli (Optional. These are also known as glass or cellophane noodles for their near transparency when cooked. I found them at Natures Basket some time back)
fresh mint leaves (about 1 cup)
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup)
1 cup matchstick size strips of red or yellow bell pepper
1 cup matchstick size strips of radish
1 cup matchstick-size strips seeded English hothouse cucumber
1 cup matchstick-size strips peeled carrot
8 slices steamed medium shrimp, cut lengthwise in half
Step 1. Use kitchen scissors to cut the noodles into smaller lengths (this will make the noodle mixture easier to combine and divide among the rice paper sheets). Add the noodles to boiling water and cook till soft. Add to cold water to refresh, drain. Repeat once more and set aside.
Step 2. In a bowl, mix together noodles, bell pepper, radish, cucumber and carrot. Toss to combine.
Step 3. Using one sheet of rice paper at a time, dip into a bowl of hot water and soak for 30 seconds or until just pliable. Place on a dry paper towel (on a flat surface) and cover with another paper towel to dry out the rice paper. Place 3 T cilantro, 3 leaves basil and 4 leaves of mint on the softened rice-paper sheet, arranging in line across lower third, leaving 1-inch border on each side. Top with the noodle filling and shape into a compact log. Fold the bottom of the rice sheet over filling, then fold in the sides and roll over. Lay shrimps in a row on the unrolled part of the rice paper and roll into tight cylinder.
Step 4. Cut on a diagonal and place rolls, seam side down, on platter. Repeat with remaining rice paper sheets and filling.
Step 5. Arrange on a large serving platter. Serve with dipping sauce.