You’ll find these little beauties at big celebrations, usually surrounded by a throng of hungry diners. In Vietnam, they use pork, but we’ve ditched the pig for juicy, vitamin-rich seafood. It’s the perfect party food and goes with everything. If you can’t find the little noodle cakes, you can try lettuce wrapped rice noodles. Party on, noodles!
Vietnamese Celebration Wraps with Fresh Crab & Scallop
- 8 fine vermicelli noodle cakes, or use 90g (31⁄4oz) dried rice noodles (plus 8 Little Gem lettuce leaf cups, to use as wrapper for loose noodles)
- 90g (31⁄4oz) large king or queen scallops
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
For the dressing:
- 1⁄2 tablespoon Mr Lee’s Healthy Mussel Sauce (page 24) or ready-made fish sauce
- 1 generous teaspoon honey or agave syrup
- 1⁄4 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped, or 1⁄4 teaspoon ground dried lemongrass
- 1⁄2 tablespoon gluten-free rice vinegar
- 1⁄4 large red chilli, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon lime zest
- 1⁄2 tablespoon lime juice
- 150g (51⁄2oz) fresh or tinned crab meat, or use dressed crab
- 11⁄2 tablespoons gluten-free hoisin sauce
- handful of baby spinach
- handful of romaine or iceberg lettuce
- small handful of fresh mint and Thai basil, or use European basil
- In a small bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients until well combined, then set aside.
- Soak the noodle cakes, or rice noodles if using, in a bowl of freshly boiled water for 2–3 minutes, then drain and place on a serving dish.
- Heat a frying pan (skillet) over a very high heat until smoking hot. While it’s heating up, lightly brush the scallops with the vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot, add the scallops and cook on one side for 2 minutes, then flip over to cook for another minute on the other side. They should be just starting to turn golden brown. Place the cooked scallops on a serving plate and lightly season with the salt and pepper.
- Serve the crab meat in a bowl or, if you’re using dressed crab, serve the entire filled shell! Place the bowl with the dressing next to the serving plate, and place the hoisin sauce in another small bowl next to it.
- Arrange the spinach and lettuce leaves in a bowl, and the rice noodle wraps on a platter (or loose noodles and lettuce leaves in a big bowl).
- To make one, just lay a noodle cake on a plate or in your hand, add some lettuce, sauce, seafood toppings and a few torn herbs.
- Roll it up, give it another cheeky dip and you’re good to go. If you’re using loose noodles, use a bit of gem lettuce like a cup and fill it up with all that noodle goodness!