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Jicama and Sausage Rice Paper Rolls

Jicama and Sausage Rice Paper Rolls

Author of "Vietnamese Food Any Day," Andrea Nguyen is making tasty appetizers that make a total of 12 rolls.
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • Brimming 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 to 2 ½ tablespoons sriracha (use the maximum for a strong spicy edge)
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons water
  • 2 eggs
  • Fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • One 1-pound jicama, peeled and cut into medium matchsticks
  • 1 large handful medium matchstick-cut carrot (optional, for great color)
  • 8 ounces fully cooked savory-sweet sausage links, cut on the diagonal into slices about 2 inches long and a scant ¼ inch thick (24 slices)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 ½ cups gently packed baby lettuce or sliced soft leaf lettuce (such as butter, Boston, or red leaf)
  • 12 rice papers, each 8 inches wide

Makes 12 rolls
Serves 4 to 6
Takes about 1 hour

Directions

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, tahini, sriracha, and hoisin sauce. Taste and add enough of the water to create a salty-sweet-hot balance. Set the sauce aside. In another small bowl, beat the eggs with 1/8 teaspoon salt.

2. Set a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and swirl in 2 teaspoons of the oil. When hot, pour in the eggs and use a spatula to pull and push the edges toward the middle, allowing excess egg to flow out and set on the skillet. When mostly set, about 1 minute, turn the egg over. Cook for 15 to 20 seconds longer, until fully set and done, then transfer to a plate. When cooled enough to handle, cut the egg into quarters and then cut each quarter into ½-inch-wide strips. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons oil and the garlic. Let sizzle for 2 minutes, until light blond, then transfer to a large bowl. Turn the heat to high, add the jicama and carrot (if using) to the skillet, sprinkle in ½ teaspoon salt, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until crisp-tender. Add to the fried garlic and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.

4. Reheat the skillet over medium-high and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and the sausage. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes to caramelize the sugar and brown the sausage a bit. Remove from the heat, sprinkle in the five-spice powder, and stir to combine. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

5. Set up a rice paper-rolling station with the sauce, jicama, sausage, egg, lettuce, and rice papers. Nearby, have a large deep skillet or wide shallow bowl filled with 1 to 2 inches of very warm water.

6. For each roll, slide a rice paper round in the warm water for a few seconds to wet both sides, then place on a cutting board or dinner plate. When the rice paper is pliable, about 1 minute, smear 1 ½ teaspoons sauce in the center of the lower third, painting an area about 4 inches by 1 inch. Layer in 3 tablespoons lettuce, 2 to 3 tablespoons jicama, 1 or 2 eggs strips, and 2 slices sausage. Bring up the bottom edge to cover the filling and roll twice. Fold in the sides and finish rolling to seal. (To replicate the photo opposite, don’t place the sausage atop the egg; roll the rice paper up once, then tuck in the sausage before finishing.) Present the rolls, whole or halved, with the remaining sauce for spooning into the rolls.

**NOTES:

  • To peel jicama, use a knife to slice off a bit of the ends to keep the tuber steady on your cutting board as you saw off its tan, tough skin. Cut the naked jicama into matchsticks by hand, or slice it in a processor (or with a box grater) before stacking and cutting into matchsticks
  • The sauce, egg, sausage, and jicama can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Refrigerate each one separately and return to room temperature before using.
  • For herbaceous notes, add a handful of coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil (Thai or opal are great) to the lettuce
  • To make vegetarian rolls, swap in Sriracha Tofu or its char siu variation for the sausage.


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