Fresh Spring Basil Rolls

LOVE these!!  Especially now that I have the hang of making them.

Version 1 Ingredients (current favorite):

  • 2 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 8 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
  • Lettuce or some type of greens (I use arugula or buttercrunch when it’s available in the garden, or get a head of Boston lettuce at the store; sometimes I omit this, depending on what I have on hand)
  • 16 (or more) large basil leaves, sliced/chopped
  • 16 large mint leaves, sliced/chopped
  • 2-3 large carrots, shredded in food processor
  • 1/2 large cucumber, shredded in food processor
  • 1 avocado, cut into 16 slices
  • Bean sprouts (optional – I like these, but I don’t make a special trip to the store if I’m out of them)
  • Sometimes I use shrimp, as described in Version 2, but not often.

Version 2 Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 8 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
  • 8 large cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined, and cut in half lengthwise)
  • 16 (or more) large basil leaves, sliced/chopped
  • 16 large mint leaves, sliced/chopped
  • 8 cilantro sprigs
  • 2 cups chopped lettuce (I used a small head of Boston lettuce)
  • 8 tsp shredded carrots

Directions:

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.  Add rice vermicelli.  Boil rice vermicelli for 3-4 minutes, until al dente.  Drain.  Cut with 2 knives, into about 8 sections (makes it easier to get quantity you want when filling).
  2. Fill a large skillet with warm water; heat on low/simmer until almost too hot to touch the water.  Have other ingredients set out assembly-style.
  3. Assemble: Dip one wrapper into water for 1 second to soften (I dip one half, then the other half).  Lay wrapper flat.  In a row across the center, place filling in this order:
    1. Version 1: lettuce leaf, 2 chopped basil leaves, 2 chopped mint leaves, 1-2 tsp carrots, 1-2 tsp cucumber, 2 slices avocado, pinch of bean sprouts (broken in half, if too long), about 1/16 of the rice noodles.
    2. Version 2: 2 shrimp halves, 2+ chopped basil leaves, 2 chopped mint leaves, 1 chopped cilantro sprig, 1 tsp shredded carrots, about 1/4 cup lettuce, and small handful of vermicelli.
  4. Leave about 2 inches of space on wrapper uncovered on each side.  Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end of with the lettuce.
  5. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  6. Serve with peanut sauce or other dipping sauces.

When I make these ahead for my lunch, I use wax paper to separate each wrap in a sealed container.  Although they are definitely best when eaten immediately after making, I find that they will keep well and still taste good for 2 days when using wax paper to separate/insulate from air.

Dipping Sauces:

Peanut sauce

Citrus-garlic: 4 tsp fish sauce, 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 Tbsp white sugar, and 1/2 tsp garlic chili sauce: Mix together until well-blended.

Source that provided inspiration: http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/24239/vietnamese-fresh-spring-rolls

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