I was up for the challenge and I am glad I gave them a try. Served as an appetizer before an Asian-inspired meal, or solo as a lunch, they are quite satisfying.
Prawn Summer Rolls
4 ounces bean thread noodles (cellophane or transparent noodles)
12 8"-9" rice paper rounds
18 cooked medium prawns (about 10 ounces), peeled, deveined, halved lengthwise
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves or parsley plus 1 tablespoon chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup English hothouse cucumber, cut into matchstick-size pieces
1 cup carrot, cut into matchstick-size pieces
12 small green or red lettuce leaves
Put noodles in a large bowl. Pour enough hot water over to cover; let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool; drain and set aside.
Fill a pie plate with warm water. Working with 1 rice paper round at a time, soak rice paper in water, turning occasionally, until just pliable but not limp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a work surface. Arrange 3 shrimp halves across center of round. Top with some leaves of each herb, then daikon sprouts (if using), cucumber, and carrot. Arrange a small handful of noodles over. Place 1 lettuce leaf over, torn or folded to fit. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling, then fold in ends and roll like a burrito into a tight cylinder. Transfer roll, seam side down, to a platter. Repeat to make 11 more rolls. Can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and refrigerate.
To serve, cut rolls in half on diagonal with dipping sauce.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
Makes 1 cup
2 teaspoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed in garlic press
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons peanut butter, smooth or chunky
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the oil is just starting to get hot, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce, water and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Simmer until thickened. Let cool. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. If the sauce is too thick after storing, whisk in a bit of water to thin it out.