Monday, October 12, 2009

Vietnamese Shrimp Summer Rolls

When people travel, they typically like to shop. Maybe they'll buy some souvenirs to remember their trip by, some toys for the kids or perhaps they'll take advantage of department stores and local designer storefronts. Well, I'm not your typical traveler. When I get home, I unpack a suitcase filled with food products.

While we were in Chicago, my brother informed me that Lettuce Entertain You started bottling its Spicy Peanut Sauce from my favorite spot, Big Bowl. To give you some context, this is like telling a 12 year old girl that the Jonas Brothers are on her doorstep. I absolutely FREAKED out, hopped a cab to Big Bowl and bought 4 bottles to take home, (I also made a to-go order for my plane ride).

Big Bowl is one of my favorite LEYE concepts that blends Chinese and Thai flavors and is down-right delicious. I worked there for a summer in college and have continued to eat there for over 10 years. The dish that keeps bringing me back is the fresh and light summer rolls they serve with their Spicy Peanut Sauce and now that they are bottling the stuff (prayers answered!) I can recreate the dish in my San Francisco kitchen. And that's just what I did last night.

A little side note: I marinaded my shrimp in a mixture of grated lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and fresh ginger which added acidity and brightness.

Vietnamese Shrimp Summer Rolls
(Not the official Big Bowl recipe)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced Bibb lettuce
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup cooked bean threads (cellophane noodles, about 1 ounce uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 2)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 6 ounces cooked peeled and deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 8 (8-inch) round sheets rice paper

1. To prepare the rolls, combine the first 8 ingredients.

2. Add hot water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1 inch. Place 1 rice paper sheet in dish; let stand 30 seconds or just until soft. Place sheet on a flat surface. Arrange 1/3 cup shrimp mixture over half of sheet, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Folding sides of sheet over filling and starting with filled side, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Gently press seam to seal. Place roll, seam side down, on a serving platter (cover to keep from drying). Repeat procedure with remaining shrimp mixture and rice paper sheets.

Serve with Big Bowl Spicy Peanut Sauce

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