Saturday, January 21, 2006

Vietnamese-Style Serrano Spring Rolls Recipe

8 dried chinese black mushrooms
2 packages bean thread noodles (1 3/4 oz. each)
2 medium carrots, julienned
1 cup snow peas, stemmed, stringed and very finely julienned
1 cup mung bean sprouts
16 rice paper rounds
24 mint leaves
3 scallions, cut into thin slivers
12 large basil leaves
Dipping sauces
Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
6 tbs. tamari or soy sauce
1/4 c. water
2 tbs. honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 scallions, minced
1 to 3 serrano or jalapeno peppers, sliced crosswise, thin as possible

Soak black mushrooms in hot water to cover for 20 to 30 minutes. Stem and cut in fine julienne. Soak bean threads in cold water to cover 20 to 30 minutes. Cook in 2 quarts boiling water until al dente, about 1 minute. Transfer to colander and rinse with cold water, drain well. Blanch carrots in boiling noodle water 1 minute. Rinse in cold water. Blanch, drain and rinse snow peas and bean sprouts the same way (blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds). Fill a large shallow bowl with cold water. Soak a sheet of rice paper for 1 minute. Carefully (very carefully!) transfer to a dry paper towel, and let sit 1 to 2 minutes until pliable.

To assemble rolls, arrange 2 mint leaves in a row along the bottom third of the rice paper. Arrange 1/12 of noodles, mushrooms, carrots, scallions and snow peas in a row on top. Roll up rice paper, folding in flaps after first turn. Add one basil leaf after first turn. This forms a compact roll about 6 inches long. Once assembled, they will keep for 6 hours, covered in refrigerator. To serve, cut in half on the diagonal. Makes 12 rolls.

Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce:
Combine all ingredients except chilies. Taste and add water if too strong. Float chilies on top to serve.


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