You can find rice paper in the Asian section of many grocery stores or at your local Asian market. The preparation takes a bit of time, but assembling these rolls is a snap, once you get the hang of rolling the delicate rice paper around the yummy insides. They also are delicious dipped in Thai peanut sauce! Make ahead of time to save last-minute rushing.
1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam plac)
1/8 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, minced
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
12 9-inch round rice papers
3 cups romaine lettuce leaves, spines removed and cut into 1/2″X 3″ strips
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into toothpick strips
1/4 cup green onions, diced
12 large fresh mint leaves, sliced into thin strips
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.
1) Sauce: Mash pepper with sugar into a paste with a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and mash into paste. Add lime juice, fish sauce, mint leaves, and water. Stir well. Set aside. (Sauce will keep for 24 hours.)
2) Mix chili sauce and powder in a small bowl. Add shrimp and stir to coat thoroughly. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove from oven and place shrimp on plate lined with a paper towel.
3) Fill a 9-inch pie pan with warm water. Dunk one sheet of rice paper into warm water. Leave in the water only long enough for paper to begin to soften, but still retain some firmness (if paper softens too much, it is too fragile to roll!). Shake off excess water and lay paper flat on a clean work surface. Place a few strips of lettuce on the end of the paper closest to you, leaving about an inch on either side. Add four strips of cucumber, some green onions, mint leaves, cilantro, a pinch of jalapeno peppers, a few mung sprouts, and two shrimp. Fold sides of paper over vegetables, then gently and tightly roll paper into a cylinder. Place on serving platter. Repeat process with remaining 11 sheets of paper and all ingredients. Serve immediately with fish sauce or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 hours. Makes 12 spring rolls.
Nutritional Analysis per roll and sauce: 79 Calories; 9 percent fat (0.8 gram); 0 gram saturated fat; 41 percent protein; 51 percent carbohydrate; 1.2 grams fiber.