Recipe by Vanessa Seder
Lobster, Asparagus, and Daikon Summer Rolls with Orange, Sesame, and Chile Dipping Sauce
Makes 8 rolls and about ⅓ cup sauce
Image by Stacey Cramp
The idea for cookbook author Vanessa Seder’s latest book, Eat Cool: Good Food for Hot Days (Rizzoli, March 2021) took root in her kitchen in the summer of 2018. She was working on unrelated recipe development and food styling projects that required nonstop use of her oven during a stretch of steamy weather; her home in Portland was older and lacked air conditioning. At the ends of those long, hot days, Seder says she was desperate to create interesting family dinners that didn’t require prolonged use of a heat source to prepare.
For the dipping sauce
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1–2 teaspoons sambal chile sauce
For the summer rolls
3 ounces dried thin rice vermicelli
1 pound asparagus, bottom ends trimmed, each cut in half lengthwise
8 large round rice wrappers (about 10 inches
8 ounces fresh lobster meat
2 cups julienned purple daikon
Pickled ginger, for serving
To make the dipping sauce, whisk together in a small bowl the orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and chile sauce and set aside until ready to use.
To make the summer rolls, first cook the vermicelli according to the package instructions. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then drain and set aside. Reserve the bowl of ice water for
Fill a large high-sided skillet with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, about 4 minutes. Heavily salt the water and add the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, then use tongs to transfer to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the asparagus and set aside until ready to use.
Fill a large shallow dish with very hot water. Working quickly, completely submerge one rice wrapper in the hot water until soft and pliable, 10–15 seconds. Remove from the water and place on a cutting board.
Lay 1 ounce lobster meat in the center of the rice wrapper along with some of the vermicelli, daikon, and asparagus. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, then fold in the sides of the wrapper. Pressing down firmly, hold the folds in place and tightly roll the wrapper up from bottom to top, then transfer to a large platter. Repeat with the remaining rice wrappers and fillings. Serve the summer rolls immediately with the dipping sauce and pickled ginger, if desired.
No. 17 / Summer 2021