April 24, 2015

rice paper rolls

Right after my sous vide experiment which I posted previously, some leftover steaks made it into the beef summer rolls, shown below. Sliced very thinly and layered with julienned carrots, cucumbers, red radishes, red bell pepper and lettuce leaves, they were refreshing and light, perfect little appetizers for hot and humid summer days. I also like cooked vermicelli noodles in them, for additional texture, but always optional. Dried rice papers, sold in most Asian markets and grocery stores, are handy to have in the pantry. To make the rice paper pliable, soak it briefly in warm water then lay it on a clean towel or wood cutting board to get rid of excess water before rolling.

Another version I made later on was with a combination of thinly sliced ripe mango, cucumber, red bell pepper and surimi or imitation crab sticks layered and rolled together with flavored vermicelli noodles. Thanks to the recipe by Chef Hylton Le Roux which I found on youtube. Glad to discover his Market to Master series which I've been watching lately. He's a chef based in Manila who also travel around the country in search of the best regional dishes and food. I get so many tips and ideas from the episodes.

surimi flakes, red bell pepper, cucumber and mango 

Shown above, the seasoned vermicelli noodles and the package of imitation crab I used. The noodles were soaked for a few minutes in boiling water until they softened then drained. Toss with chili sauce (for a spicier version, use sambal oelek), rice vinegar, sesame oil and mirin. The seasoned vermicelli was very tasty and I may never go back to using plain vermicelli for these rice paper rolls. Serve with honey-soy dip.

For the recipe...
Rice Paper Rolls (adapted from Chef Hylton Le Roux's recipe)

Vietnamese rice paper rolls, about 6-8 pcs.
vermicelli noodles, about 1 cup
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 ripe mango, sliced thinly (I used honey mango variety)
1/2 cup cucumber, sliced into matchstick pieces
Thai basil (optional)
toasted peanuts (optional ~ I used toasted cashews)

Season the softened vermicelli noodles with a mixture of 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce, 2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons mirin and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Toss well and set aside. Layer the ingredients on the softened rice paper wrapper and roll. Serve with honey-soy dip.

Honey-Soy Dipping Sauce

2-3 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pieces thinly sliced Thai chilis (optional ~ I used 1 tablespoon sambal oelek)

Mix well together in a small bowl and serve with the rolls. May be kept chilled in the refrigerator until serving time.

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