That thing I did with this title? It’s exactly what I hate to do. Let’s just say, when it came to writing research papers and reports in high school, I always scored the lowest on the abstract portion.
See, I’m kind of a long-winded person. In case you couldn’t tell. I have a hard enough time condensing all my rambling, probably-not-so-interesting thoughts into a reasonable blot post*, never mind trying to summarize all that is notable** about a recipe into a short phrase that fits onto a single line the width of my post space.
*But I’m trying. Really trying to embrace that whole “less is more” thing. It can only mean good things for both of us.
**It was torture leaving out the mint, cilantro, cucumber and lettuce. But I had to draw the line somewhere.
So anyway, this recipe. If I have any kind of influence on you (clearly, I’m a dreamer) you read this post last week, immediately went out and found yourself some kelp noodles, brought them home and half an hour later devoured them drenched in peanut sauce just like I did.
And then, just like I did, you decided there was no way you could go more than 3 days without them. Here’s the solution: Make this. Then make it again. (I did, twice in 3 days, because
I hated the first set of pictures they are THAT good and I couldn’t wait any longer. Trust me, there were no complaints in this house.)
This served us well during the sweltering heat wave that made up the entire first three weeks of July. When the thought of hot food made me twitchy, but something “more than a salad” was craved. Seaweed noodles were the perfect stuffing for fresh shrimp rolls, providing an addicting little crunch and bulk (not to mention calcium – did you know a serving delivers 15% of your daily value!) For the rest of the fillings, I took note of the summer rolls we usually get from our local Vietnamese place – and added a little sumthin’ sumthin’ in the form of sweet mango. And that sauce? No way was that getting left out of the title. When you blend together something so good you just wanna clean the bowl with your tongue, it’s absolutely imperative that you use it as part of the longest title ever. It’s either that or bathing in it, or shouting it’s praises to everyone you pass in the grocery store near the kelp noodles – hey, I don’t judge.
Fresh Summer Rolls with Shrimp, Mango, Kelp Noodles, & Coconut-Peanut Curry Sauce
Yield: 8 rolls
Soft rice paper rolled with kelp noodles. mango, shrimp and fresh vegetables - and the most delicious sauce to dip them in.
1 package kelp noodles
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 head red-leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1-2 small cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
1 small mango, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Fresh mint leaves and sprigs of cilantro
8 sheets of rice paper (available online, or in the Asian import section of your grocery store, or an Asian market)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon creamy, all-natural peanutbutter
1 tablespoon coconut nectar (agave nectar or honey could be substituted)
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon reduced sodium tamari (for gluten-free) or soy sauce
Place the kelp noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and shrimp:
- Separate the lettuce leaves, wash, and pat dry.
- Slice the cucumber and mango into matchsticks.
- Wash and separate mint and cilantro leaves.
- Steam the shrimp in a steamer basket over boiling water for two minutes. Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise, so that they will lie flatter in the rolls.
To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Set aside.
When you are ready to assemble the rolls, drain the kelp noodles and have a bowl or shallow dish full of warm water nearby.
Working with one rice paper wrap at a time, immerse the wrap into the warm water for about 20 seconds. Place on work surface and gently pat the top side with a clean dishtowel to remove excess water. Layer a lettuce leave, a few pieces of cucumber and mango, some kelp noodles, mint and cilantro, and 3 shrimp halves on the bottom half of the rice paper. Carefully roll up, burrito style, folding the outer edges inside, and set aside. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Serve immediately with sauce for dipping.
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com