Prep 45 mins
Cook 10 mins
Fresh and lively seasonings and herbs make this the best lettuce wraps I've ever tasted. Idea from Nina Simonds' Asian Wraps Book ISBN: 0-688-16300-9
- 2 quarts water
- 1⁄2 lb thin rice sticks, noodles, softened in hot water to cover and drained
- 1 1⁄2 lbs medium shrimp
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro leaf (fresh coriander)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil leaf
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped scallion top
- 1⁄4 cup chopped mint leaf
- 1⁄4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
- 1 head iceberg lettuce or 2 heads boston lettuce, core trimmed, leaves separated, pressed to flatten, rinsed & drained
- 1 pinch salt & pepper, to taste (for shrimp)
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste (for shrimp)
Vietnamese Sweet-n-Sour Dipping Sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 limes, juice of
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons grated carrots
- In a large pot, heat the water until boiling. Add the softened rice stick noodles and swirl in the hot water, then cook until just tender, 10-15 seconds. Drain thoroughly in a colander and rinse under cold water. Clip the noodles into 3 inch lengths and place into a medium serving container.
- Chop the fresh herbs and peanuts as above and place each in an individual serving container (small bowl or ramekin).
- Peel and de-vein the shrimp, remove the tails. If shrimp are large, cut in to thirds. Season shrimp in a mixing bowl with lemongrass paste (you can use finely chopped fresh lemongrass if available), salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Mix thoroughly and saute in a large pan with peanut oil until shrimp are just cooked. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and place in a serving container.
- To make the dipping sauce: In a small mixing bowl, soak the crushed red pepper in lime juice for several minutes Add the garlic, sugar, and fish sauce and stir to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a serving container and add the grated carrots and serve at room temperature Refrigerated, the sauce will keep in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days.
- To Serve: Arrange lettuce on a large platter surrounded by the containers of chopped herbs, etc. and dipping sauce. To make a wrap, take a lettuce leaf in hand, place a small bundle of rice stick noodles on the leaf, scoop a large tablespoon of shrimp on to lettuce leaf, then add any herbs that you like. Add a teaspoon of dipping sauce onto the mixture on the leaf and then roll and eat. Delicious!
I originally gave these four stars, but I've made them three times now, and they're DEFINITELY worth five. These were absolutely delicious. I've tried them with lemongrass paste from a jar and fresh, and they're great either way. The sauce was delicious, at first I thought I liked it better with less sugar, but I've since tried it exactly as the recipe says and it's perfect. My boyfriend isn't too keen on shrimps so I made him a pork mixture instead, by sauteing pork mince, basil, and sambal olek in oil. He preferred that, but I liked the shrimp much better. This is my new favourite recipe, and one of the best meals I've ever cooked. Thanks a lot!