Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Spring Rolls with Quick Peanut Dipping Sauce

Look for bahn trang, the thin, round Vietnamese rice paper wrappers used to make spring rolls, in the ethnic foods section of most large supermarkets. If you can’t find them but still feel like a yummy peanut sauce, make an Asian-style noodle salad by tossing the ingredients below (with the cilantro chopped) with half a pound of cooked whole wheat pasta (or half a package of soba or rice noodles, if you have them).

If you use unsalted peanut butter, you may need to add salt to the peanut sauce.

2 cups shredded leftover turkey
1 small green cabbage (about the size of a softball), finely shredded
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
8 sprigs fresh cilantro
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup very warm water, plus more for softening bahn trang
2 teaspoons sriracha (Thai chili-garlic sauce) or Chinese chili paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium rice wine vinegar
8 bahn trang (plus a few more, in case some rip while you’re folding)

Arrange the turkey, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and chopped peanuts on a large plate.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the peanut butter, 1/2 cup warm water, sriracha, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar until smooth, and set aside.

Fill a large, shallow bowl with very warm water. Dip a clean, smooth tea towel in the water, wring dry, and place flat on a clean work surface.

Working with one rice wrapper at a time, dip half of it into the water, and turn it like you’re driving a car in circles, around and around in the same direction. When you feel the wrapper begin to soften between your fingers (but before it begins to fold over on itself all willy-nilly), transfer the wrapper to the towel. Place a sprig of cilantro horizontally on the wrapper about a third of the wrapper away from the edge of the wrapper nearest you. Top the cilantro with little handfuls of cabbage, carrots, and turkey, in layers, and sprinkle with a few chopped peanuts. Starting with the side closest to you, wrap the spring roll up like a burrito, tucking the sides in halfway through rolling. Transfer the roll to a serving plate, and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serve rolls whole or cut in half, with the peanut sauce, for dipping.

Makes 8 Spring Rolls.

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