These summer rolls don't have a story. I don't have any cute analogies or jokes for today. It's late and I'm rushing to get this posted since we have to leave our house at the butt crack of dawn to head home to a big event at E's alma mater. There will be a dinner followed by a roast (the vaguely inappropriate joke telling kind of roast, not the large slab o' beef kind of roast) run by a bunch of engineers and Germans. Can you think of anything less funny? Cause I can't, and I've been thinking about it for weeks.
Alas, I attempted to make Mark's Summer Rolls for dinner tonight, but our hack little market up the road had no rice paper. I had some nori, so I had to go with that instead! Paired with the basil dipping sauce (to which I added ginger and sesame oil) this was the perfect homage to herbs ala IHCC. They were tasty enough for me to forgive myself for the pathetic look of these rolls. I'm not a sushi chef, and trust me, rolling that nori takes practice! If you make these, use rice paper; it is much more forgiving! These rolls are so full of fresh flavors, and I can see myself making a bunch of different versions this summer.
Summer Rolls with Basil Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian pages 743 and 777
8 sheets of rice paper
4 oz. bundle of thin rice noodles
2 scallions, sliced lengthwise
1/2 a red pepper, julienned
1/2 c. each fresh mint leaves and basil leaves, julienned
1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle shrimp with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes or until ink. Remove from oven and set aside.
Pour boiling water over noodles in a shallow dish. Let sit for 8 minutes until tender and drain. Set aside.
Lay a damp towel on your work area. Fill another shallow bowl with hot water. Dip a sheet of rice paper into the water until it softens, just a few seconds, and lay on the towel. On the bottom third of the rice paper, spread 1/8 of each of the ingredients (noodles, herbs, peppers, and shrimp), fold in the bottom edge and both sides and roll tightly. Repeat for remaining papers and serve immediately with dipping sauce.
For the sauce:
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbls. soy sauce
2 Tbls. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbls. sugar
1/4 c. fresh basil, julienned
1 tsp. frech grated giner
3 Tbls. sesame oil
Whisk all ingredients to combine. If you want this thicker, whisk all ingredients except the sesame oil. Add oil slowly in a very thin stream while whisking until emulsified. You may need to increase the amount of oil, too!
Sounds like a lot of work, I know, but it was pretty simple actually!
And nothin' says lovin' like a clean plate.
Don't forget to head over to I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what everyone else whipped up this week!