These rolls are a lot of fun to make – plus they’re healthy and taste delicious. You can use grapefruit or blood oranges instead of pomelo which may not be readily available. The method is similar to rolling sushi, you should roll them on a damp cloth napkin.
Pomelo Banh Trang Rolls
Ingredients (Serves 6)
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon thinly sliced Thai bird chiles
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted coconut flakes
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried galangal (or you can substitute ginger root )
1/3 to 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
1 cup thin cellophane noodles
1 cup pomelo or grapefruit segments
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted coconut flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh Thai basil or sweet basil
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
6 rice paper wrappers, 8½ inches in diameter
6 Boston lettuce leaves, thick ribs remove
12 chive stems for garnish
For the Miang Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the palm sugar and water, place over medium heat, and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the chiles, coconut, peanuts, and ½ teaspoon of the galangal, and let cool to room temperature. Stir in 1/3 cup of the tamarind. Taste and adjust with additional tamarind and galangal, if needed.
For the Rolls: Soak the cellophane noodles in room temperature water or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain well. Pour half of the Miang sauce into a medium bowl and add the noodles. Toss gently to season the noodles. Combine the pomelo (grapefruit), coconut, peanuts, basil, mint, sliced chives, and shallot. Stir gently to mix.
Dampen a kitchen towel with lukewarm water, and lay it flat on a work surface. Lay 1 rice paper wrapper on the towel. Dampen a second towel with lukewarm water, and lay it over the wrappers.
Working with one wrapper at a time, keeping the others covered, place a lettuce leaf horizontally across the wrapper, positioning it about 2 inches from the bottom of the wrapper. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the pomelo (grapefruit) mixture along the length of the leaf, add an equal amount of the noodle mixture, and shape to form a compact log. Fold the bottom of the wrapper up over the log, then roll away from you, gently but tightly, stopping about halfway. Fold in the sides of the wrapper and continue to roll to the top edge of the wrapper. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling, keeping the finished rolls under a lightly dampened kitchen towel until all of the rolls are assembled.
TO SERVE: Cut the rolls in half on a slight diagonal. Arrange a roll on each individual serving plate, standing one half up and laying the other half on its side. Slip 2 chive stems into the top of the standing half of each roll. Divide the sauce evenly among small dishes and place a dish alongside each serving.