“I aspire to host the most elaborate dinner party for our family and friends every night,” says Hannah An, proprietor of The District by Hannah An in Los Angeles. In this recipe, she substitutes earthy eggplants and mushrooms for a hearty take on traditional Vietnamese summer rolls.
- 4 ounces dried rice stick noodles or vermicelli
- 3 Japanese eggplants, julienned
- 3 Portobello mushrooms, cut into matchsticks
- 16 (8.5-inch) round rice paper wrappers
- 8 bibb lettuce leaves, cut into thin strips
- 10 ounces mung bean sprouts
- 32 fresh mint leaves (about 1 bunch)
- 32 fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
- 32 fresh tiato leaves (if available, or 64 mint leaves)
- 16 fresh cilantro sprigs
- 2 serrano chilies, stemmed, halved, seeds removed and sliced thin lengthwise into 32 pieces (optional)
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- Spicy-sweet Sauce:
- 5½ ounces coconut milk
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, grill eggplant and mushroom sticks until well charred.
Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish with hot tap water. Completely submerge one wrapper at a time until soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove from water and place on towel.
Working quickly, lay lettuce strips just above center of wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer ¼ cup rice noodles over lettuce, followed by single pieces of eggplant and mushroom, a few mung bean sprouts, 2 mint leaves, 2 basil leaves, 2 tiato leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro and 2 pieces of serrano chile (optional). Place 1 piece of cucumber in the middle. Roll 1 piece of lettuce into a cigar shape and place it on top of the noodle pile.
Fold bottom half of wrapper over filling. Holding firmly in place, fold sides of wrapper in. Pressing down, roll entire wrapper horizontally from bottom to top. Set roll seam-side down.
Repeat until all wrappers are used, replacing hot water as needed. If not serving immediately, keep rolls tightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Yields 16 rolls.
Place spicy-sweet sauce ingredients in small pot. Whisk continuously over medium heat until well integrated. Let cool before serving.
“Its brisk acidity, clean minerality and ripe stone fruit keep you coming back sip after sip. This is a perfect way to showcase the versatility
of Riesling, and how well it pairs with modern Vietnamese cuisine.” —Morgan Wallen, sommelier, The District by Hannah An