Sep 062011

These have been on my recipes-to-try list for some time.  Since last summer to be exact.  I had planned on making them, but then suddenly it was October and I hadn’t made them so “summer” rolls weren’t so relevant any more.  And with today being labor, I knew I had to sneak them in while there’s still time.  While I’m not excited about the impending end of summer, I AM excited about these little rolls!

These rolls were bright, fresh, and light.  You can be creative with your filling ingredients, but I used poached shrimp, rice noodles, cilantro, julienned red pepper, cucumber, mango, and scallion.  

I can’t promise every one of you will share this next sentiment, but making these was SO SO fun. Clearly I’m a little crazy, but I seriously enjoyed the wrapping and arranging of these guys.  It’s definitely a little process:  poaching the shrimp, cooking and dressing the noodles, soaking the rice paper, and then arranging all the ingredients–but once you get all the prep done it’s so easy.  I made these start to finish in less than an hour and I think they look pretty darn impressive if  I do say so myself. 

Nutritional Highlights:  Compared to their seasonal counterpart (the spring roll), these are SO much healthier.  Mainly, because they are not deep fried.  They are filled with poached shrimp for protein (meaning boiled in water so no fat added in the cooking process).  They also have fresh veggies like cucumber and red pepper, and this version even has some fruit.  They also have a few essentially calorie free flavor adders: cilantro and scallions.  The rice noodles and rice wrappers are also gluten free, hooray (shout out to one of my favorite msk followers)!  You can enjoy these as a guilt free appetizer or main course.

Mango Shrimp Summer Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
Rolls from Epicurious and dipping sauce from Health

For rolls

  • 12 large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per pound), peeled
  • 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)…I omitted this because I don’t like fresh mint
  • 1 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped; 1 lb), 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
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks

Dipipng Sauce:
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha suace (I used more cuz I like it hot)
1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion

  • Make dipping sauce:  Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat the rolls.

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.

I’m not sure how well these would save, so I’d recommend eating these up right after preparing them.  Don’t think you’ll have any trouble with that though!

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