Mekong Delta Vegetable Wraps

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and run through garlic press
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 large or 2 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds), pricked with a fork several times
rice vermicelli, (4 ounces)
16 curly lettuce leaves, washed and left whole
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths
1 cup fresh basil sprigs
1 cup cilantro sprigs
2 cups mung bean sprouts

1. In small bowl, combine carrot, garlic, pepper flakes, sugar, lime juice, vinegar, and fish sauce. Stir and set aside at room temperature.

2. Cook eggplant under broiler, turning until charred on all sides and soft, about 8 minutes. Using oven mitts, peel and cut the eggplant into strips.

3. Bring large pot of water to boil and cook noodles until done, about 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water .

4. Place eggplant and accompaniments on platter. Let everyone make their own lettuce wraps by placing lettuce leaf on plate and topping with noodles, eggplant, sauce, scallions, basil, cilantro, and sprouts.

Serves 6.



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