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Spring Rolls with Lime-Cilantro Sauce

Thin and wiry, dried vermicelli noodles are made from rice. You can find them in well-stocked supermarkets and in Asian markets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, about 24, peeled, deveined and cooked
  • 6 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 12 rice paper rounds
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. dried vermicelli or rice stick noodles, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and drained

Directions:

Prepare the filling and sauce
In a bowl, stir together the shrimp, green onions and 2 Tbs. of the cilantro.

In another bowl, whisk together the lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic and the remaining 1 Tbs. cilantro until the sugar dissolves. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Assemble the rolls
Have ready a large, shallow bowl of warm water and a damp kitchen towel. Immerse each rice paper round in the water for 2 or 3 seconds. Spread it on the towel; it will become pliable within a few seconds. Divide the shrimp mixture horizontally near the bottom of the rice papers. Top each with some of the cucumber slices and noodles. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper over the filling, compacting it gently but firmly. Fold in the sides and roll the rice paper toward the top edge, again compacting gently.

Using a sharp knife, cut each roll in half on the diagonal. Arrange the rolls on a platter and serve with the dipping sauce. Makes 12 spring rolls.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).