Sunday, February 4, 2007

Fresh Rice Paper Rolls

Rice paper spring roll wrappers
1 pkg cellophane noodles
Bibb lettuce
Shredded carrots
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Fresh basil leaves
Cucumber matchsticks
Cooked, peeled shrimp (tails off), chilled

Bring a pot of water to a boil; remove from heat. Add cellophane noodles and let them set about 5 minutes to soften. Remove from water, drain on paper towels, and set aside.

Bring a kettle of water to a boil. I like to keep the water simmering and top it off each time I take from it, so I have more hot water whenever I need it.

Pour boiling water into a wide, shallow bowl. Soak the rice paper wraps into it. Give them about 10 seconds total, so they are soft but not falling apart. Remove from water and lay on the counter in front of you. Place a leaf of lettuce, some shredded carrots, a few sprigs of cilantro, some basil leaves, and cucumber matchsticks on the half of the wrap closest to you. Begin rolling, folding in the edges after the second turn. Before the last turn, place 2 shrimp side by side on the remaining wrap, and then continue rolling. This way you can see the shrimp through the wrap when you're done.

Continue rolling as above, using any or all ingredients you wish.

To serve, cut the rolls in half crosswise on an angle, and arrange on a serving plate. Serve with dipping sauce, such as sweet chili sauce or peanut sauce.

Note: To make this recipe vegan, omit shrimp.

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