Temple Rolls

delicate Vietnamese spring rolls


16 rice paper rounds
8 dried shiitake or wood mushrooms
2 packages bean thread noodles (long rice)
2 medium carrot, julienned
1 cup snow peas, chopped steamed broccoli or other vegetable
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup mung bean sprouts
3 scallions, cut into thin slivers
1 bunch mint leaves (about 24)
sprig Thai basil (at least 12 leaves)
Dipping sauce (see Hint below)

Rehydrate mushrooms in warm water for at least 20 minutes, then julienne cut. Immerse bean threads in cold water for 20 minutes and cook in 2 quarts boiling water until slightly soft, about 1 minute. Save water. In a colander, rinse bean threads in cold water and drain. Blanch carrots, snow peas or other vegetables 1 minute in saved boiling water. Blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds. Rinse all in cold water.

Fill a large dish or bowl with cold water. Soak each sheet of rice paper for a minute and then transfer to a slightly damp cotton dish towel or paper towel.

To assemble rolls, arrange 1/12 of noodles, mushrooms, carrots, scallions and snow peas or vegetables, 2 mint leaves and one basil leaf in a row on top. Roll up rice paper tightly, folding in flaps at the first turn. Rolls will keep for 8 hours, if refrigerated and covered. Serve whole or diagonally cut in half with bowls of dipping sauce.

12 rolls, each 135 calories: 2% from fat (0.36 g), 83% from carbohydrates (20.3 g), 14% from protein (4.96 g). Sodium 198 mg, Fiber 1.1 g.


Healing Heart Hint:

Traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce contains nuoc mam, a very salty fish sauce. A delicious alternate sauce can be made from C Hoisin sauce, 1 T vinegar, 1 T water and as much hot pepper or hot sauce as desired.

Thai basil is slightly different from Western basil, with a mint-like flavor. It is available in most Asian food markets. The stems and flowers are usually purple.

Rice paper is a thin, brittle sheet of dried rice flour, about the size of a tortilla. Handle with care, they break easily. They can be found in most Asian markets.

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