Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls in Rice Paper with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Serves 4

1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
12 boiled shrimp, peeled and cut lengthwise 16-20 count
8 ounces rice noodles, cooked
8 round rice paper wrappers
2 cups lettuce, romaine
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup red cabbage, chopped fine
1 cup sprouts
24 mint leave, fresh & whole destemmed
1 / 2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

To cook shrimp:

In a 2 quarts saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and creole seasoning, add shrimp and boil for 1 – 2 minutes until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat, remove shirmp and place shrimp in an ice bath to cool for 5 minutes. Reserve seasoned liquid and return to heat to boil.

Remove shells and cut cooked and cooled shrimp lengthwise.

Add rice noodles to seasoned water and boil until cooked and tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and place noodles in an ice bath to cool. About 10 minutes. Drain and refrigerate noodles until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Line up ingredients beginning with mint, shrimp, lettuce, noodles carrots, cabbage, sprints and cilantro.

In a shallow large baking pan, fill with water. Submerge rice paper one sheet at a time until it becomes moist and pliable about 15 seconds.

Remove from water and shake excess. Lay on a dish towel and fill with ingredients as listed above. Use 4 mint leaves, 3 slices of shrimp, 1 ounce of rice noodles, 1 / 4 cup of lettuce, 1 tablespoon each of carrots, cabbage and sprouts and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Roll and seal the roll onto itself. Line a baking dish with moist paper towels to keep rolls pliable and to keep them from sticking to any surface.

Serve chilled with dipping sauce. If the rolls start to dry out, lightly moisten with warm water.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

1 / 2 cup hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce for spice (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 / 4 cup fresh peanut butter, smooth
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons filtered water
1 tablespoon whole roasted peanuts, chopped

In a mixing bowl combine hoisin, soy, Sriracha, garlic, peanut butter and rice wine. Add water to reach consistency desired. Garnish with chopped peanuts.

Tips & Suggestions:

I use cool water to get the rice paper wrappers started. The directions say warm water usually. But, I’m telling you. Ignore that and listen to Chef Kev. The hot water reconstitutes the paper too quickly for novice hands and become excessively sticky during the filling and rolling process. It will take longer for the rice paper to become pliable in cold water. But that’s okay. It will make the work of filling and rolling easier. Also, when you remove the wrappers from the water, place on a clean cotton dish towel while you fill and roll. The towel will absorb excess water and keep the paper from being sticky as well. Keep wet paper towels handy. When making and layering them in your glass baking dish, lay the wet paper towel between layers. This will keep hand rolls fresh in the refrigerator and allow you to make a couple of dozen at a time. This is an amazing snack and great for those watching their figure.