Summer Rolls with Nuoc Cham
Makes 30 rolls
Read the full post here.
30 rice paper wrappers*
1 cup carrots, julienned
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 package rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 5-10 minutes until soft, then drained, tossed with a few teaspoons peanut oil, and cut into smaller pieces
1 small Napa Cabbage
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
*These are different than egg roll or spring roll wrappers, which need to be cooked. Find them cooked or fresh at specialty stores or in Chinatown. If dried, you’ll need to follow the directions on the package, moistening the circles in very warm water before adding the filling and rolling.
Prepare the cabbage: cut the leaves and some of the white stems very fine. Layer in a colander, sprinkling kosher salt over each layer. Leave in the sink or on a plate to drain for 1-2 hours. Rinse, drain, and press out even more moisture by wrapping the cabbage in a dish towel.
Have all the other ingredients prepped and in bowls in front of you.
Prepare a rice paper wrapper as necessary, then add about 2 tablespoons rice noodles and a few carrots. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of the cabbage, then a few herbs and a few peanuts. Don’t worry as much about neatness as about size: there shouldn’t be more than about 1/4 cup of filling total.
Starting from one side, beginning rolling the filling in tightly, folding the sides in to seal. Arrange the rolls on a platter and serve with nuoc cham dipping sauce (below).
For the Nuoc Cham:
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (or to taste)
2 tablespoons julienned carrots (optional)
Pulse the garlic with the sugar in a food processor. If you don’t have one, mince the garlic, then sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of the sugar and use it to pulverize the garlic while y0u chop.
Add the lime juice and let sit for about half an hour so the garlic can mellow.
Add the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.