Spring Rolls with Salmon and Mango
For garlic-lime dipping sauce:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 red serrano chili
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
For the spring rolls:
- 4 oz. dried thin rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 lb. salmon fillets
- 1 large carrot, peeled and very finely julienned
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 16 dried rice paper rounds, each 8 1/2 inches in diameter
- 16 large red-leaf lettuce leaves, ribs removed
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into slices 3 to 4 inches long and 1/4 inch thick
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into slices 3 to 4 inches long and 1/4 inch thick
- 16 fresh mint leaves, shredded
- 32 sprigs of fresh cilantro
To make the spring rolls, place the noodles in a bowl and add water to cover. Let stand until soft and pliable, about 15 minutes. Bring a large pot two-thirds full of water to a boil. Drain the noodles, add to the boiling water, remove from the heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
Pour water to a depth of 3 inches in a wide, deep fry pan just large enough to hold the salmon in a single layer. Place over high heat and bring to just below a boil so that the water shimmers with movement but does not bubble. Slip the salmon into the water and poach, uncovered, until the flesh easily flakes with a fork, 5 to 10 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the salmon to a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into 16 thin slices about 4 inches long.
In a small bowl, combine the carrot and sugar. Let stand until the carrot is softened, about 10 minutes.
Fill a pie dish with warm water. Dampen 2 kitchen towels and lay on a work surface. Dip 1 rice paper round at a time into the water and lay flat on the towels. Continue dipping the rounds and arranging in a single layer without overlapping on the towels. Allow to soften 1 to 2 minutes. When the rounds resemble wet, wrinkled tissue, place 1 lettuce leaf across the lower third of each round, leaving a 1-inch border on the right and left edges. Spread a small amount (about one-sixteenth) of the noodles over the lettuce in a line about 5 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. Arrange one-sixteenth of the carrots, a few mango slices, a salmon slice, a few avocado slices and a few shreds of mint over the noodles. Fold up the bottom edge of the rice paper round and roll once over the ingredients, tucking them into a tight roll 5 inches long. Fold in the right and left edges to enclose the filling. Place 2 sprigs of cilantro over the roll and finish rolling. Set, seam side down, on a baking sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and set in a cool spot while making the remaining rolls.
Leave the rolls whole or cut each into 3 or 4 pieces. Serve at room temperature with the dipping sauce.