Asian Veggie Wraps
Loaded with vermicelli noodles, mushrooms, and other fresh veggies, this recipe for Asian-style wraps is ideal for packed lunches. The wraps will stay fresh for a few days if tightly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator. Use any kind of mushroom you like—whether mild button, earthy shiitake, or another that you prefer—all will be delicious here.
1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the vermicelli, cover the pan, and remove the pan from the heat. Let stand until the noodles are translucent, about 15 minutes. (Alternatively, follow package instructions.) Drain the noodles and use scissors to snip them into shorter pieces (2 to 3 inches long). Set aside. (The noodles shouldn’t sit too long or they will stick together).
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid, combine the mushrooms, ginger, and 1/4 cup water; cook over medium heat, covered, until the water is sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the green onions, tamari, and pepper and cook, covered, until the mushrooms are tender but still have bite, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked vermicelli and mix gently, using a fork to separate the noodles. Cook, uncovered, until all the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and set aside to cool.
3. Rinse the spinach leaves in cold water. Pat the leaves dry on a towel, or spin them dry in a salad spinner. The leaves need to be completely dry. Repeat with the lettuce leaves. Cut the center ribs out of the lettuce leaves and cut the remaining leaves into roughly 3- x 2-inch pieces. Fill a medium bowl halfway with water and set it at your work area. Arrange the following items so they are also close at hand: the rice paper, a wooden cutting board, the noodle mixture, and the carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and mint.
4. To assemble the wraps, gently submerge a sheet of rice paper in the bowl of water and let it soak for 20 seconds. Remove it from the water and place it on the cutting board. On the side closest to you, place 2 pieces of lettuce. Top with 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup of the noodle mixture. Place a few strips of carrot and cucumber on top. Sprinkle with cilantro and mint leaves. Cover the stuffing with 2 to 3 spinach leaves.
5. Fold the edge of the rice paper that is closest to you over the stuffing and tuck it under on the other side, while pulling the package toward you. Hold the fold in place with one hand, and fold in the left and right sides of the rice paper with your other hand, to seal in the stuffing. Roll the wrap away from you until it is all rolled up. Set aside and repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients.
6. When all the wraps are assembled, you can serve them right away or transfer them to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Let the wraps come to room temperature before serving. When ready to serve, dip a sharp knife in water and use it to cut each wrap in half. Place the halves on a serving tray and serve the Wasabi Orange Sauce in a bowl alongside.