I’ve been wanting to make basil rolls for a long time. Light and nutritious, they make a healthy choice if I’m picking up or eating out at an Asian restaurant, and I always wondered if I could pull them off at home. I found a good recipe in the May issue of HEALTH Magazine (one of my go-to recipe resources along with Eating Well Magazine), so I finally decided to give it a go.
The rolls turned out well, unlike some of my other kitchen escapades, so of course I just had to share this colorful and delicious recipe with you!
INGREDIENTS (8 basil rolls):
Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce:
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon of thinly-sliced scallion or green onion
8 round sheets of rice paper (8-inch)
16 large basil leaves
4 red leaf lettuce leaves, torn into small pieces, spines removed
1.5 cups rice noodles (I used pho, but you could also use cellophane noodles or bean sprouts), cooked and cooled
1/2 small mango, peeled and sliced into thin strips
16 medium shrimp, cooked and peeled, tails removed and sliced in half down the middle
16 large mint leaves
- To make dipping sauce, combine the five ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate.
- Fill a large shallow dish with warm water. Wet a clean kitchen towel, wring out and place on a clean work surface. Place 1 rice paper sheet in the warm water and soak for about 30 seconds. Remove from water and lay flat on kitchen towel.
- Layer 2 basil leaves, 3 pieces of lettuce, 2 tablespoons of noodles, a couple of mango strips, 4 shrimp halves and 2 mint leaves in the middle of the rice paper (in that order). Make sure you leave room on all sides for folding/rolling. It helped me to have a little assembly line for this process.
- Wrap up the rice paper around the filling to make a roll (Pull bottom of paper over filling and tuck, fold in the sides and roll into a cylinder). Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve and Enjoy!
My husband (aka assistant basil roll chef) gave this dish his official seal of approval. Two rolls make a great appetizer (your friends will be so impressed!), and four rolls make a nice light dinner. Next time I’m going to experiment with the ingredients a little. I might try a little sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, or even replace the shrimp with some ground chicken. The opportunities are endless!
And that, my friends, is how we roll. I hope you enjoy this recipe!