We had an amazing bout of beautiful weather over the weekend, and it put me into the mood for something light and refreshing. One of my favorite things to eat are Vietnamese goi cuon, spring rolls often times made with shrimp and pork. This version is made with a ceviche of scallops, chives, and spicy black radishes (we just picked these up from the farmers market on Saturday!) – a citrus-based marinade adds a fresh twist, and the black radishes provide crunch and bite. They are fairly simple to make and have been boyfriend-tested and approved.
Scallop Spring Rolls
Makes 12 spring rolls
12 rice paper sheets
4 large scallops
1 black radish, sliced into bâtonnets
1 carrot (I chose yellow, but you can use orange), sliced into allumettes (matchsticks)
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise, and sliced thinly
3 T black sesame seeds
50g rice vermicelli
1/2 bunch chives or 2 spring onions, chopped
1 bunch of mint
juice of 1 lemon
3 T of olive oil
Dry scallops with paper towels. Slice each scallop thinly, so that you end up with rondelles. In a small glass bowl, combine the scallops with the lemon juice, olive oil, and chives, and season generously with salt and pepper. Let this mixture marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.
Meanwhile, boil some water to cook the vermicelli noodles. Drop the noodles into boiling water and cooke for about 4 minutes, strain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Set up your work station
You will want all of these items within reach – your sliced vegetables, noodles, sesame seeds, mint leaves, scallop mixture. Make sure you have a shallow dish of water to soften the rice paper, a towel to dry your hands between rolls, and a spoon.
Putting it together
I find that it is easier to soften the rice paper one by one instead of all at once, so I do this while I am rolling the spring rolls. Soften the rice paper by dipping the entire sheet into a shallow dish of water. Lay the sheet onto your work surface. I recommend using a plastic cutting board (the rice paper will stick to a wooden cutting board). Sprinkle rice paper sheet with black sesame seeds. Lay 2-3 mint leaves down in the center. Follow with the radishes, carrots, cucumber, then a few slices of scallops. Top with noodles, and a little bit of the marinade from the scallops. Then, fold the sides over the filling, then fold the bottom over the filling and roll it up – the roll will essentially seal itself.
Serve with a small bowl of soy sauce to dip the rolls in.
Other options for fillings
These rolls can be made so many different ways – you can substitute the scallops for shrimp, tilapia, or halibut. Add thinly slice jalapenos to add a kick, a butter lettuce leaf, a slice of avocado, and any other vegetables that you like!