These light, Thai-inspired salad rolls have a good dose of spice and tang, creating a tidy packet bursting with flavor. Setting out each component separately allows guests to get involved and make their own rolls, ideal for passing and sharing.
To dress it up, fill the leaves ahead of time and arrange the rolls, seam side down, on individual plates or on a platter lined with cabbage or lettuce leaves.
Spicy Shrimp Salad Rolls
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 Tbs. fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves, cut into thin ribbons
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion, white and tender green parts only
3 Tbs. fish sauce, or to taste
3/4 tsp. chile paste, or to taste
1 Tbs. peanut oil
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, tender midsection only, smashed with the side of a chef’s knife and chopped or minced to yield about 2 Tbs.
4 to 6 large Bibb, butter or romaine lettuce or napa cabbage leaves for serving
Small fresh mint and cilantro sprigs, shredded red cabbage and shredded carrot for serving
Chop the shrimp finely; the texture should be similar to that of ground meat. Place in a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Marinate at room temperature for at least 5 minutes, but no longer than 15 minutes.
In another bowl, combine the cilantro, mint, green onions, the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and the chile paste and stir to mix. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed frying pan or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and its marinade, the red onion and the lemongrass and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce and toss and stir until the shrimp is opaque throughout and almost all of the liquid in the pan has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Pour the reserved lime juice mixture over the shrimp and toss to coat evenly.
Transfer the shrimp mixture to a serving bowl and taste for seasoning. You may need to adjust the spiciness with chile paste, the saltiness with fish sauce or the tartness with lime juice.
To serve, arrange the shrimp mixture, lettuce leaves, mint and cilantro sprigs, and shredded napa cabbage and carrot on a serving board or tray. Instruct diners to pile some of the shrimp mixture on top of a lettuce leaf and top with sprigs of mint and cilantro and a large pinch each of shredded cabbage and carrot. Serves 4 to 6.