I made this dish as an entree for dinner night before last and we really enjoyed it. I loved the crunchiness of the lettuce and carrots and the spiciness of the dipping sauce. Michael liked it too but they were a little too spicy for him, of course. The recipe was simple to make and the cooking method for the shimp was fantastic. I usually overcook it. By starting with cold water that didn’t happen. If you make this recipe and raise chickens, make extra cellophane noodles. They were a big hit in the chicken yard! I will definitely make this recipe again. Michael commented that it felt light and heathy, just before saying it would probably taste better with a butter based sauce. Go figure.
Here is the recipe from Sunset:
Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce
- YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 appetizer servings
- TOTAL:1 HOURS
- 3/4 pound (16 to 20 per lb.) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 package (3 3/4 oz.) cellophane noodles (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot chile flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 3 small limes)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
- 2 heads Boston or butter lettuce, cores trimmed and leaves separated, rinsed, and drained
- 1 large carrot, peeled, ends trimmed, and grated lengthwise into ribbons
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
- 1. Put shrimp, salt, and pepper in a pot and add cold water to just cover shrimp. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until shrimp are bright pink and tails are curled, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a colander and let cool.
- 2. Put cellophane noodles in a medium pot and cover with hot water. Cover pot and set aside until noodles are softened, at least 15 minutes. Drain noodles and (using kitchen scissors) cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Return noodles to pot, drizzle with rice vinegar, and toss. Cover and set aside.
- 3. In a small bowl, mix chile flakes and lime juice and let sit several minutes. Add garlic, sugar, and fish sauce; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Transfer sauce to a serving dish.
- 4. To assemble wraps, arrange some noodles in the middle of each lettuce leaf and top with 1 shrimp. Garnish with carrot, basil, cilantro, mint, and peanuts. Tuck up the bottom of each leaf and fold sides inward to eat. Drizzle with or dip into sauce.