Photograph by Grant Cornett Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Jicama Rice Roll

Amuse-Bouche from Issue 7 – Summer 2015 – Spectrum

Bánh tráng, or rice paper wrappers, are an essential component of Vietnamese cooking. Ghostly white, translucent, and diaphanous, they are a flimsy outfit for their contents. Ours wraps itself around stark jicama wands and deep purple basil and kale for come-hither appeal.

makes 12 rolls

  • 12 (6-inch) Vietnamese spring roll rice wrappers
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • about 24 leaves from a bunch of basil, preferably opal basil
  • about 24 leaves from a bunch of mint
  • about ½ a medium jicama, cut into ¼-inch matchsticks
  • several leaves purple or Russian kale, ribs discarded
  • black sesame seeds for sprinkling, toasted

  • 1

    Soak one wrapper in a shallow bowl of water until softened and translucent and then transfer to a work surface. Fold the wrapper in thirds like a letter, top to bottom. Streak a ½ tsp of hoisin down through the center. Arrange 2 leaves of basil, 2 leaves of mint, 4 or 5 sticks of jicama, and a few torn pieces of kale on top of the hoisin. Fold the two sides in and over to make a little open-ended roll and transfer to a platter. Keep covered with damp paper towels while making the remaining rolls. Cover well with plastic wrap, leaving the damp towels in place, and chill if making these ahead. They can wait, chilled and wrapped, 4 hours.

  • 2

    Serve sprinkled with black sesame seeds.