Cinco de Mango – Mango Shrimp Summer Rolls
I guess I have mentioned every now and then that I LOVE mangoes? And I found yet another way to cook creatively with them:
Mango Shrimp Summer Rolls
This makes a refreshing appetizer or summer snack, and with a salad a light and easy hot weather meal.
For dipping sauce
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce such as Thai nam pla or Vietnamese nuoc mam
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
12 large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled
3 oz vermicelli rice-stick noodles
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds plus additional in case some tear
48 fresh cilantro leaves (from about 1 bunch)
48 fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)
1 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped; 1 lb), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
3 scallions, cut into 3-inch-long julienne strips
1 lb firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
Stir together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.
Add shrimp to a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, then reduce heat and poach shrimp at a bare simmer, uncovered, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then return shrimp cooking water to a boil. Chill shrimp in ice water 2 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise, deveining if necessary.
Add noodles to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water and drain well. Stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved, then add noodles and toss to coat.
Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Check rice-paper rounds and use only those that have no holes. Soak 1 round in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then carefully transfer to paper towels.
Arrange 3 shrimp halves (cut sides up) in a row across bottom third (part nearest you) of soaked rice paper. Spread 1/4 cup noodles on top of shrimp and arrange 3 cilantro leaves, 3 mint leaves, 8 cucumber matchsticks, 6 scallion strips, and 10 mango matchsticks horizontally on top of noodles. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling and begin rolling up tightly, stopping at halfway point. Arrange 3 more mint leaves and 3 more cilantro leaves along crease, then fold in ends and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll, seam side down, to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Make 7 more rolls in same manner and serve, whole or halved diagonally, with dipping sauce.
• Summer rolls can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered with dampened paper towels and then with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving.
I didn’t use sugar but granular Splenda, in both the dipping sauce and the seasoned vinegar, which worked just fine. Do NOT use paper kitchen towels as they will stick to your summer rolls – use a real kitchen towel. While I thought the dipping sauce might be too overpowering, it was absolutely perfect with the summer rolls and added more freshness to the palate.
The recipe is from Gourmet, April 2003, and to be found here at epicurious (of course their rolls look a lot more professional than mine). The one thing that makes these rolls different from average Vietnamese summer rolls is soaking the noodles with the vinegar/sugar mixture, reminding me of seasoning sushi rice, this gives a lot of depth and additional freshness.
We’ve tried another filling (with leftover grilled beef, and a little carrot) – this was nice but needs a little more spice, a tiny sprinkle of chili powder did the trick (or add chile to the dipping sauce) – think Thai beef salad in a wrap. The recipe lends itself to adapting easily – you might use Thai holy basil or other herbs, and any kind of meat leftovers you may have at hand. I think chicken would go well with the mango, the beef was better without. Raw tuna might be a nice variation, too.
The downside of this recipe is that you need to do a lot of chopping for prep. But it is a beautiful, refreshing, light and tasty meal for the hotter days of the year I will no doubt make often this summer. And stove time is reduced to those few minutes you need to boil the shrimp and cook the noodles, no hot kitchen required – perfect hot weather fare.
Truly light and delicious.