This is a must-try recipe, although it requires good cooking skills; it's all the way worth it and very tasty for anyone who likes shrimps prepared with the best ingredients. Instead of being fried, like Chinese egg rolls, these appetizers are served fresh, letting the textures and flavors of the vegetable and shrimp then filling shine through. Serve with the easy dipping sauce.
For the spring roll base Edit
- 2 cups water
- 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- chopped fresh cilantro or fresh coriander
- 4 rice paper, rounds 8 inches in diameter
- 4 large fresh basil leaves, halved lengthwise
- 1 ¾ cup bean sprouts
- 1 ⅜ bean thread noodles
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoon unsalted and/or sugar-free, natural-style peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch brown sugar
- In a saucepan, bring (or add) the 2 cups water to a boil.
- Add the shrimp and immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Cover and poach until pink and opaque throughout, about 3 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 3 minutes.
- Drain and cut each shrimp in half lengthwise. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a heatproof bowl, combine the noodles and boiling water and soak for 10 minutes.
- Drain and return the noodles to the bowl.
- Add the carrot, cucumber, cabbage, bean spouts and cilantro. Toss gently to mix.
- Place a double thickness of paper towels on a work surface.
- Fill a large, shallow baking dish with water. Place 1 rice-paper round in the water and soak until pliable, about 30 seconds.
- Carefully transfer the wrapper to the paper towels and turn once to blot dry.
- Arrange ½ cup of the noodle mixture on the bottom half of the wrapper.
- Fold the bottom edge toward the center and roll up the wrapper halfway, making sure to wrap tightly around the filling. Tuck 2 basil leaf halves along the inside crease of the half-rolled wrapper.
- Arrange 4 pieces of the shrimp, cut sides up, along the crease.
- Fold the right and left edges of the wrapper over the filling and finish rolling up.
- Repeat with the remaining wrappers, filling, basil and shrimp. Transfer the rolls to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels.