While I was in Bend, Oregon a few weeks ago, Chef Bette Fraser of the Well Traveled Fork cooked up a couple of magnificent meals for us and our house guests. We had more than a few stipulations including gluten and dairy free, kosher, and vegetarian. No problem! We started with this impressive summer appetizer one night and I knew I had to share this recipe.It’s so cool, so crisp, so light, that everyone will want to know how you managed to make these. And on a steamy summer eve, I would be happy with just these and a very chilled white or rose.
Note: The Thai Lime Dipping Sauce that accompanies this recipe uses fish sauce. If you cannot find a vegetarian/vegan fish sauce (an oxymoron, I know), check this recipe. Do not simply eliminate the fish sauce from the recipe below. It adds umami, a depth of flavoring and savoriness that is essential to Thai and Vietnamese foods.
This recipe was provided by Chef Bette Fraser. Her catering company and culinary walking tours may be found at The Well Traveled Fork in Bend, Oregon.
- 1 package cellophane noodles
- 1 1/2 T rice vinegar
- 1 head lettuce leaves
- 8 rice paper wrappers
- 2 T peanuts, crushed
- 1 green onion, julienned
- 1/4 c carrot, finely grated
- 1/3 c napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 c basil leaves
- 1/4 c mint
- 1/4 c cilantro leaves, whole
- In a bowl, soak noodles in very hot water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander. With scissors, cut noodles into 3-4 inch lengths. Put in a bowl and toss with vinegar.
- Cut ribs from lettuce leaves, then cut in half.
- In a shallow pan, soak 1 round of rice paper in hot water to cover until very pliable, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
- Carefully spread one of the rice papers on a paper towel. Blot with paper towel.
- Arrange 1 piece of lettuce leaf on bottom half of sheet, leaving a 1 inch order along the edge.
- Top lettuce with some of the peanuts, noodles, green onions,carrots, cabbage and herbs.
- Roll up the filling tightly in rice paper, folding edges inside after first roll so that filling is enclosed.Continue rolling.
- Halve rolls diagonally and serve with dipping sauce.
This recipe was shared by Bette Fraser, The Well Traveled Fork, Bend, Oregon. It is adapted from a recipe by Ming Tsai.
- 1/3 c fish sauce
- 3/4 c lime juice
- 2 T cilantro, chopped
- 2 T basil, chopped
- 2 T mint, chopped
- 1 t ginger, minced
- In a bowl, combine the ingredients and mix. Sauce lasts one week in the refrigerator.
The herbs darken as the sauce ages. This isn't a taste problem (quite the opposite, as the flavor deepens over time) but the sauce will loose its looks. If this bothers you, make and store the sauce "base" only, then chop and add herbs and hour before serving it. Or strain out any tired herbs from the "old" sauce and replace them with fresh.