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July 8 | Comments (0)

summer rolls

Last night we had a wonderful meal with some friends from around the corner and she made this most delicious appetiser. It seemed to be a lengthy process to prepare all of the little bits before making the rolls, but the result is well worth the effort. If you have the time, or lots of help this would be great for a summer party. I would imagine you could use chicken to replace the shrimp if you have to feed lots of people. Make sure you put a few aside for yourself, as they're sure to be gobbled up in a hurry.

Adapted (only slightly) from Epicurious mango shrimp summer rolls.

For dipping sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Splash of water

For rolls
12 large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled
3 oz 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 corriander leaves (from about 1 bunch)
48 fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)
1 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped; 1 lb), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
1 lb firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks

Make sauce:
Stir together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Make rolls:
Add shrimp to a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, then reduce heat and poach shrimp at a bare simmer, uncovered, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then return shrimp cooking water to a boil. Chill shrimp in ice water 2 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise, deveining if necessary.

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.

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.

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, with dipping sauce.

Cooks' note:
• Summer rolls can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered with dampened paper towels and then with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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I am a Planning Director at Critical Mass in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At the moment I'm focusing on the luxury market. I also work on Forkd with my friends at Isotoma.

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