Colorful Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Use a mandoline to turn the vegetables into paper-thin slices, and then find zen while you perfect filling and rolling each lovely bundle. It takes time and practice, so be sure to have a few extra rice wrappers on hand in case some tear.
|1 6.25 ounce||package of mai fun rice noodle|
|1||orange bell pepper, stemmed and seeded|
|1||red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded|
|1||yellow bell pepper, stemmed and seeded|
|2||candy cane beets, peeled|
|1/4 cup||creamy peanut butter|
|2 tablespoons||hoisin sauce|
|1 tablespoon||chili garlic sauce|
|2 teaspoons||toasted sesame oil|
|juice of 2 lime (about 2 tablespoons)|
|2 1/2 cups||shredded cooked chicken|
|1/4 cup||fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped|
|1/4 cup||fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus 36 whole fresh leaves|
|4||scallions, sliced thinly|
|12||8-inch round rice paper wrappers (see cook's note)|
Special equipment: a mandoline slicer
Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Lay them out on a baking sheet in an even layer. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut them into 4-inch lengths. Set aside.
Use a mandoline slicer to shave the orange, red and yellow bell peppers into long, paper-thin slices. Then shave the beets, carrot and cucumber into paper-thin rounds. Set aside.
Whisk together the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and 1/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl until well combined. Season to taste with salt.
Toss together the chicken, cilantro, mint, scallion and 2 tablespoons of the peanut sauce in a large bowl until well coated.
Set up your rolling station with a damp cutting board, a medium bowl filled with water and a serving platter. Place the orange, red and yellow bell peppers, beets, carrots, cucumber, rice noodles, chicken-herb mixture and rice paper wrappers nearby.
Take 1 rice paper wrapper and wet it with some water until just slightly softened. Lay it on the cutting board and make sure it is completely flat. Arrange 3 mint leaves about 1/4-inch from one another, in the middle of the wrapper (the tips of each mint leaf should be pointing up and away from you). Take 3 slices of yellow bell pepper and lay them over the first mint leaf. Take 3 slices of red bell pepper and lay them over the second mint leaf. Take 3 slices of orange bell pepper and lay them over the third mint leaf. Lay 6 slices of beet, slightly shingled, over the bell pepper layer. There should be about a 1-inch of space above and below the beet edge where the bell peppers peak out slightly. Shingle 6 slices of cucumbers right above the beets and over the pepper ends. Shingle 6 slices of carrots right below the beets and over the pepper ends. Take a bunch of the cut rice noodles, about the same diameter of a silver dollar, and put them on top of the candy cane beet layer, being mindful of keeping them in a tight line. Take a heaping 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture and put on top of the noodles.
Working from the edge of the rice paper wrapper closest to you, fold it over the filling, then fold in the sides, like you are rolling a burrito, and roll up tightly. Put the finished roll on the serving platter and cover with a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out, repeat with the remaining 11 rice paper wrappers and fillings. Serve with the remaining peanut sauce on the side for dipping.
Rice paper wrappers have a tendency to tear. Make sure you have a couple extra on hand.