16 shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled and deveined, tails removed
3 cups dry white wine
2 bay leaves
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 ounces thin rice vermicelli
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, thin julienne
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
8 large rice paper wrappers (8 1/2-inch rounds)
1 jalapeno, cut into 1/8-inch slices
8 fresh Thai basil leaves, chiffonade
Peanut Dipping Sauce, for serving, recipe follows
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons sambal olek
Chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
Score the shrimp on the underside in three equally spaced horizontal cuts. Press firmly on the shrimp to straighten.
In a soup pot, combine 4 cups water, the wine, bay leaf, lime juice and salt and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, add in the shrimp and cover until the shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes. Scoop out the shrimp and shock in ice water to stop the cooking. Then drain and dry. Reserve the poaching liquid, keeping it hot but not simmering.
Add the vermicelli to the hot poaching liquid (no need to simmer or boil the water because that may over cook the noodles). Cook until just al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Toss the carrots, cucumbers and red bell peppers with the rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.
Dip each rice paper wrapper in warm water, one at a time, for a second (no longer or they will get too soft). The wrapper should still feel somewhat hard when you first start working with it. By the time you finish getting all of your fillings in, the wrapper will have continued to soften. Layer the first one with 2 shrimp, a basil leaf, jalapeno slice, some vermicelli and vegetables. Gently wrap like a tiny burrito and cut on the sharp bias. Serve with Peanut Dipping Sauce.
Add the peanut oil to a small saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, and then turn off the heat. Then add the peanut butter, hoisin, sambel olek and 3 tablespoons water and mix together. You may need to add a little extra water if the mixture is too thick. Garnish with the chopped peanuts.
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