Vietnamese-inspired shrimp salad in rice paper puffs

A crisp, refreshing snack or appetizer!

I wish I’d learned years ago that frying segments of rice paper transforms them into delicious little boats ready to be filled with all sorts of savoury delights. This shrimp-studded Vietnamese-style coleslaw is absolutely terrific; I could also see putting egg roll filling in them, or possibly shredded honey-garlic chicken. The rice paper puffs can be fried up to 24 hours in advance; once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup (15 g) minced shallot
  • 1/2 tsp(2.5 g) Sambal Oelek (chili paste with garlic) or sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (41 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water

Salad:

  • 2 1/2 cups (6 oz / 170 g) shredded green or Napa cabbage
  • 1 cup (110 g) shredded carrot
  • 1 cup (120 g) thinly sliced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) thinly sliced radish (optional but delicious)
  • 1/4 cup (5 g) each fresh mint, cilantro and basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (100 g) small cooked shrimp, peeled
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) coarsely chopped peanuts

Rice paper puffs:

  • 6 six-inch sheets of rice paper, halved OR 3 eight-inch sheets, quartered
  • Canola or other neutral oil, for frying

Method

  • Make dressing by placing all ingredients in a small jar with a tight lid; shake to blend well. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • Make salad by gently tossing together everything except the peanuts. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 24 hours if not serving immediately.
  • Make the rice paper puffs by cutting the sheets as directed above with sharp scissors.
  • Heat one inch (2.5 cm) of oil in a large skillet placed over medium heat. It will be hot enough to fry when the bubbles form around the tip of a chopstick (or the end of the handle of a wooden spoon) is inserted into the oil. Gently place the pieces of rice paper into the oil, one at a time, and cook until crisp (this will take just a few seconds Remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon or strainer and place on paper towel to drain.
  • When ready to serve, drizzle dressing over the coleslaw and toss. Scoop coleslaw into rice paper puffs then sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately.

Makes 12 portions.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

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