These light fresh spring rolls are crunchy and spicy, with a hint of sweetness. Pair with California Sparkling Wine or California Pinot Grigio.
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) ground cayenne
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) ground paprika
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt (plus a pinch for the sauce)
2 tablespoons (30ml) Asian (or toasted) sesame oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
10 large prawns (about 8 ounces /225g), shelled, deveined, and cut into 4 pieces crosswise
2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lime juice,
¼ cup (50g) sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) rice vinegar
1/3 cup (80ml) water
2 small fresh red chiles, such as Thai or Serrano, thinly sliced crosswise (use gloves when handling hot chiles)
8 (8-inch/ 20cm) round rice paper wrappers
4 small romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half lengthwise
32 matchsticks (3-by-¼-inch/7.5-by-.5cm) daikon radish,
32 matchsticks (3-by-¼-inch/7.5-by-.5cm) yellow squash,
32 matchsticks (3-by-¼-inch/7.5-by-.5cm) cucumber,
½ cup (50g) thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts
½ cup (60g) chopped roasted peanuts
Mix the cayenne, paprika, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
Heat the sesame oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic and cool and stir until fragrant about 30 seconds.
Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute.
Add the pepper mixture and cook for 1 minute.
Scrape the shrimp and oil into a bowl and toss with the lime juice.
To make the sauce, bring the sugar, vinegar, and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a small bowl and add the Serrano chile and a pinch of salt.
To assemble the rolls, fill a large pie plate with warm water. Soak 1 rice paper wrapper in the water for 10 seconds or just until pliable.
Lay the wrapper flat on a work surface. Place a piece of lettuce on the bottom third of the wrapper and top with 4 matchsticks of each vegetable, followed by 4 or 5 pieces of shrimp (including some of the garlic and sauce that is at the bottom of the bowl). Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon each of the scallions and peanuts.
Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper up, and the sides over the filling. Continue to roll from the bottom, to make a tight cylinder. Place on a platter. Repeat with the remaining seven wrappers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not serving right away.
To serve, arrange 2 rolls on each plate with a small bowl of dipping sauce.