Salad Spring Rolls
| |Gourmet June 1995
Although several varieties of basil are used in Southeast Asia, the most common-called rau que in Vietnam and bai gaprow in Thailand-is generally referred to as Thai basil in Asian markets on this side of the Pacific. The leaves are slightly darker and narrower than the more familiar Italian basil and have purple stems and flowers. Rau que has a distinctively pungent anise flavor, but Italian basil is a perfectly acceptable substitute.
Yield: Serves 4 as a first course
a 1.8- to 2-ounce package bean-thread (cellophane) noodles
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 large Boston lettuce leaves, washed well and spun dry
eight 8-inch rounds rice paper plus additional in case some tear
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed
1 scallion, cut into 2-inch julienne strips
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
1/3 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai basil), washed well and spun dry
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, washed well and spun dry
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed well and spun dry
Accompaniment: Spicy Peanut Sauce
In a bowl soak noodles in very hot water to cover 15 minutes and drain well in a colander. Reserve half of noodles for another use. With scissors cut remaining noodles into 3- to 4-inch lengths and in a small bowl toss with vinegar and salt to taste.
Cut out and discard ribs from lettuce leaves, halving each leaf.
In a shallow baking pan or cake pan soak 2 rounds rice paper in hot water to cover until very pliable, 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Carefully spread 1 soaked round on a paper towel, leaving remaining round in water, and blot with paper towels. Arrange 1 piece of lettuce leaf on bottom half of sheet, leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Top lettuce with about one fourth of peanuts and about one fourth of noodles, arranging them in a line across lettuce. Top noodles with one fourth each of scallion, carrot, cabbage, and herbs. Roll up filling tightly in rice paper, folding insides after first roll to completely enclose filling, and continue rolling.
Spread remaining soaked rice paper round on paper towel and blot with another paper towel. Wrap rice paper around spring roll in same manner. (Double wrapping covers any tears and makes roll more stable and easier to eat.) Wrap spring roll in rinsed and squeezed paper towel and put in a resealable plastic bag. Make 3 more rolls with remaining ingredients in same manner. Rolls may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, wrapped in wet paper towels in sealed plastic bag. Before serving, bring rolls to room temperature.
Discard paper towels. Halve rolls diagonally and serve with peanut sauce.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Herb-Salad-Spring-Rolls-with-Spicy-Peanut-Sauce-10512#ixzz0fzmIGTDS