Friday, June 17, 2011

Mango Shrimp Summer Rolls

Here's something cool and light to make on a hot summer day (I guess that's why they call them summer rolls). I've also heard them called fresh rolls, which makes sense because they're not fried (like spring rolls) and have a clean, crisp freshness. These are very versatile since you can stuff them with anything you want. You can also make dipping sauce.

I probably overstuffed mine a little (or a lot). I get kind of excited and forget that sometimes less is more. Especially when it comes to the rolling. Which reminds me, don't be surprised if your first roll is very sloppy. There is a learning curve (by roll #3 you'll be a pro). And while rolls #1 and #2 might not make it to your Facebook page, they'll still taste terrific.

Makes 8 first-course servings

12 large shrimp, cooked and chilled
3 ounces vermicelli rice-stick noodles*
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds plus additional in case some tear*
48 fresh cilantro leaves (from about 1 bunch)
48 fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)
1 seedless cucumber, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
3 scallions, cut into 3-inch-long julienne strips
1 pound firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks

*available in Asian markets or the Asian section of many supermarkets
1.  Slice each shrimp in half lengthwise, deveining if necessary. Set aside.

2.  Add noodles to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water and drain well. Stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved, then add noodles and toss to coat.

3.  Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Check rice-paper rounds and use only those that have no holes. Soak 1 round in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then carefully transfer to paper towels.

4.  Arrange 3 shrimp halves (cut sides up) in a row across bottom third (part nearest you) of soaked rice paper. Spread 1/4 cup noodles on top of shrimp and arrange 3 cilantro leaves, 3 mint leaves, 8 cucumber matchsticks, 6 scallion strips, and 10 mango matchsticks horizontally on top of noodles. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling and begin rolling up tightly, stopping at halfway point. Arrange 3 more mint leaves and 3 more cilantro leaves along crease, then fold in ends and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll, seam side down, to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Make 7 more rolls in same manner and serve whole or halved diagonally.

Can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered with dampened paper towels and then with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Gourmet, May 2003
slicing shrimp in half
mint and cilantro
sliced cucumber
sliced mango
sliced scallions
vermicelli rice noodles
cooked vermicelli rice noodles
rice paper rounds in package
rice paper round (it's so thin, you can see through it)
It's hard to even see the softened rice paper round against
the white paper towel (I tried to take a photo of soaking it
in water, but it's pretty much invisible in the water).
noodles layered on
herbs added
cucumber added
scallions and mango added
tucking in the sides
you can play around with the order of the ingredients,
depending on what you would like to show through


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