These are a perfect summer treat! They can be served as a starter before a meal or as a light lunch or snack. In the 19th century, the French colonized Vietnam and left a pronounced influence on the cuisine. The Banh Mi sandwich is a perfect example of East meets West. This healthy cuisine utilizes many fresh vegetables and herbs while maintaining the balance between spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet. These rolls can be made vegan using any combination of fresh seasonal vegetables on hand.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
INGREDIENTS - POACHED SHRIMP
1 pound deveined shrimp (reserve the shells)
4 cups water
¼ of a lime
1 inch piece of ginger
½ of a Serrano chili
INGREDIENTS – ROLLS
16 rice wrappers
1 head of butter lettuce, cut ½ lengthwise with leaves separated
1 scallion, julienned
4 Persian cucumbers, julienned
¼ bunch of small, tender cilantro stems
¼ bunch of small, tender mint stems
3 bunches of cooked cellophane (mung bean) noodles
INGREDIENTS – PICKLED CARROT AND DAIKON
3 cups carrots, julienned
3 cups daikon, julienned
½ Serrano chili, seeded and minced
½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
INGREDIENTS – PEANUT SAUCE
1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
½ cup coconut cream
½ cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
Combine shrimp shells with water, lime, ginger and chili. Cook on medium heat until liquid is reduced by 1/2 and strain out solids. Return to pan and heat to 165 degrees. In a bowl combine 2 cups of ice and 1 cup of water and set aside. Place shrimp into poaching liquid, immersing completely for 3-5 minutes or until opaque. Cool completely in the ice bath and pat dry. Cut shrimp in half lengthwise and reserve.
Pickled Carrot and Daikon
While these can be made days in advance, allow to pickle at least 4 hours before use. Combine carrot, daikon and Serrano chili in a glass bowl. Dissolve salt and sugar in the vinegar and toss with the carrot and daikon mixture. Store in a glass or plastic container, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Combine peanut butter with warm water and stir. Add coconut cream, lime juice and soy sauce and whisk until smooth. Add the ginger, sambal oelek and sugar, mix until incorporated. Adjust seasoning to taste and garnish with chopped peanuts. Use within a week.
Fill a shallow pan with very warm water and set aside. Line up all prepared ingredients to start assembly. Place 1 rice sheet in the warm water just until it starts to become pliable. Remove and place on a flat work surface. Working quickly, start placing ingredients in order: Slightly above the center of the rice sheet, place 3 shrimp, cut side up. On the top of the shrimp place lettuce leaf, mung bean noodles, carrot and daikon pickle, cucumber, scallions, a sprig of cilantro and mint. Start to roll up by folding the bottom of sheet over the ingredients tightly, fold over sides and continue to roll upwards until sheet's end seals itself. Serve with peanut sauce. Makes approximately 16 rolls.