Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Making salad rolls at home has a simple elegance to it, akin to making pasta. You use your hands to prepare and assemble the ingredients: carrots, cucumber, avocado or mango, red pepper, sprouts as well as rice noodles and rice paper. These are a pleasure to make with friends because there's lots of tasks to share- and assembling the rolls brings everyone together.

Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Citrus-Peanut Sauce
(Makes 10 rolls)

1 ripe mango or avocado, peeled, pitted and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips
2 cups mixed greens or sprouts
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 package rice noodles
10 rice paper sheets
1 carrot peeled into thin strips
1/2 cucumber peeled and cut into half inch strips
1 red pepper cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup toasted peanuts, chopped

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add salt and rice noodles, cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the noodles are tender. Drain and rinse. When the water has completely drained, place the noodles in a bowl.

Assemble the sliced carrots, cucumbers, mango or avocado, pepper, lettuce or sprouts together on a large plate.

Fill a large bowl with very warm water. Place rice paper sheet in the water and remove when the sheet begins to soften. With your hands, pull the sheet out of the water and hold in the air for a moment to let the water drain from the sheet. Place the sheet on a clean work surface.

Place about 1/4 cup of the rice noodles across the bottom third of the rice paper sheet. Drizzle 2 tbsp peanut sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of crush peanuts. Layer 2 mint leaves, 1 basil and a sprig of cilantro, a sprinkling of green onions, a slice of mango, carrot, and cucumber. Roll the sheet of rice paper into a cylinder and stop halfway. Fold the left and right sides into the middle, then finish rolling.

To serve, slice the rolls in half and arrange on a plate or platter with the peanut sauce. Enjoy!

Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons orange juice
1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Give the sauce a taste and adjust to your preference by adding a little more of one ingredient.

No comments: