Mango salad rolls with chili-lime dipping sauce
Did I mentioned that I tend to get “stuck” on a few things and make them over and over for a while until I move on to something else? these salad rolls are a good example. I love eating them and love making them so here they are again. I vary the filling and the dipping sauce according to what I have on hand. Today I had mangos, arugula and pumpkin seeds (where did I put the peanuts?) so I rolled them all up in rice paper rounds and enjoyed a lunch with an Asian flare. These are so pretty, I am always excited when I make them and my husband loves them too.
Another thing I am experimenting with is mood photography. Winter in the Okanagan is not photography friendly. A layer of clouds settle over the lake and valley keeping the heat in but preventing the sun from penetrating in any significant way. I usually take pictures outside in natural light on the rooftop patio and my outdoor kitchen. Now that it’s colder outside I moved my operation inside and with the cloud cover and early sunset there is not enough light for natural light photography (yes, I do use a reflector.) I thought this may be a good time to experiment with “mood” photography. You know which kind I mean? Those gorgeous dark images where some of the items in the image are lit and others are darkened. I plan to take a class in lighting to learn how it’s done but for now I am experimenting on my own so I hope you bear with me if the images simply seem underexposed.
So here is the recipe for the salad rolls, I hope you try them or get inspired by it to make something of your own creation.
8 Rice paper rounds
Rice noodles – 2 cups cooked
A hanndful baby arugula
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 mango, firm, cut into matchsticks
12 green onions, sliced diagonally, white and green parts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, dry toasted
1 cup tender cilantro stems
2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1-2 teaspoon sambal olek
2 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
It is important to have all the ingredients ready for assembly. Prepare each ingredient and place in a bowl on the counter in front of your work surface.
Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Generally you drop them into boiling water, leave covered for 3-4 minutes and then drain and rinse under cold water and drain.
Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil and pour into a dish wide enough to have the rice paper rounds dipped into it. A tart or pie pan works well.
You will be working with one rice paper round at a time. Immerse the rice paper in the hot water for a few seconds to soften it, hold the edges and turn over once. Remove and place on your work surface spreading the edges so it is round. I work on a sheet of wax or parchment paper, or on marble.
It is difficult to say exactly how much filling to put onto the rice paper, use your judgement and place a reasonable amount for each. You can work vertically or horizontally, whatever works for you.
Lay a line of salad greens in the middle of the salad roll horizontally.
Top with rice noodles, julienned carrots, mango, green onion and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
Fold the the left and right sides of the rice paper so they meet in the middle overlapping slightly. This helps because they will stick together and hold the filling in, then roll the rice paper from from the bottom over the filling pressing it into a cylinder, folding the edges in and tucking the filling in to create a roll. I find that this method always keeps the filling contained.
Place prepared salad rolls on a plate lined with damp paper towel and cover with a double thickness of damp paper towels that has been wet under running water and the water squeezed out. If the rolls touch each other they may stick later so space them up a bit.
Continue with remaining rice paper rounds until you have used up all the ingredients.
If you are not using them immediately then place a plastic wrap over the rolls (and the damp paper) and keep refrigerated. I have seen them in stores simply wrapped in plastic wrap, you can try that as well.
Serve with the dipping sauce.