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April 19, 2006
Mango mania!

[mango shrimp summer rolls bento]

Right: mango-shrimp summer rolls
Left: steamed edamame with kosher salt, dipping sauce for summer rolls, grape tomatoes, more mango!
Hubs bento: (see inset) same as mine, but with a daifuku, light Babybel cheese round, and ginger chews



This is the third mango day in a row -- can you believe I still have at least 10 of them in my fridge?

The mango-shrimp summer rolls came out really well and tasted fresh, even though I didn't wrap them in shrink-wrap before packing them, and I let them sit around on my desk for 4 hours before eating them. I guess the bento box seal was enough to keep the moisture in. The only thing I would do differently is to use a different type of rice paper -- the ones that I had on hand were too delicate. I like to roll my summer rolls pretty tightly, but this brand of rice paper didn't allow me to do it. I used some square rice paper wrappers while in Houston that were fantastic! Thin but strong, and a nice chewiness when eating. I need to find those here!

MANGO-SHRIMP SUMMER ROLLS

Ingredients*
- Summer rolls -
6 large shrimp, peeled
1/3 package of rice vermicelli (usually each 1lb package is divided in 3 and tied by twine)
3 tbsp sushi vinegar (rice vinegar also will work)
4-1/2" chunk of seedless cucumber, peeled, cored, and sliced lengthwise about 1/8" thick
one 'cheek' of a large, ripe mango, peeled and sliced lengthwise about 1/8" thick
handful of fresh chives
handful of mint leaves
handful of cilantro leaves
4 sheets of rice paper (not too delicate if possible, at least 8" wide), more just in case some tear
- Dipping sauce -
1-1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1-1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp brown sugar
crushed thai bird chili or 1/2 tsp ground chili paste or chili oil (optional)
Steps
  1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add shrimp and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until cooked. Using a slotted spoon, remove shrimp and run under cold water, then drain. Slice shrimp in half lengthwise (and devein if necessary).
  2. Bring shrimp water back to a boil and add the rice vermicelli. Cook about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, then drain again well. When noodles are fairly dry, add the sushi vinegar and toss to coat. Leave the noodles in the colander so that any excess liquid can drain.
  3. To make the rolls, wet a round of rice paper in hot water and place on work surface. Arrange a handful of rice noodles in a row along the bottom third of the rice paper. Arrange chives, and strips of mango and cucumber in the space above the noodles and sprinkle some cilantro leaves on top. Fold the bottom of the rice paper over the filling and roll towards the top, stopping after one revolution. Fold the sides of the rice paper in, then arrange some mint leaves in the crease and continue rolling a little further. Stop when there is about 2 inches of rice paper remaining. Place 3 shrimp halves along the crease and finish rolling. Repeat with the other 3 rolls.
  4. To make the sauce, stir together all ingredients in a small bowl until well-mixed.
  5. You can also make these 4-6 hrs ahead of time -- just place on a platter, cover with damp paper towels and then saran wrap the platter. If you are placing it in a bento, the rolls should be ok for 4-5 hours provided your bento box has a good seal. If you want to be sure, just wrap the rolls in some saran wrap before packing.

* Use gluten-free ingredients
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