There's almost no way to go wrong when you combine beef and sesame. The carrot adds crunch, and the arugula provides a nice change from the standard iceberg lettuce.
Servings: 16 medium rolls
- For the dipping sauce
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions, white and tender green parts
- 1 1-inch piece ginger root, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- For the summer rolls
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 3/4 to 1 pound beef tenderloin fillets
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 4 ounces rice vermicelli
- Sixteen 8-inch round rice paper wrappers
- 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded
- 5 ounces baby arugula leaves
For the dipping sauce: Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
For the summer rolls: In a shallow bowl just large enough to hold the fillets, combine the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce. Add the fillets and turn them in the marinade to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, turning at least once, for 1 to 4 hours.
When the fillets are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Meanwhile, spread the sesame seeds in an even layer on a small plate. Remove the steak from the marinade, discarding any remaining marinade, and dip the fillets in the sesame seeds to coat both sides. Place the fillets in the hot pan and cook just long enough to brown the first side, about 2 minutes, then carefully turn over the fillets. Transfer the pan to the oven. Cook the fillets to the desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium-rare (130 to 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Transfer the fillets to a cutting board and set aside. When cool, cut into 1/4 -inch-thick strips and set aside.
Meanwhile, boil a kettle of water. Place the rice vermicelli in a deep mixing bowl. Pour enough of the just-boiled water over them to cover. Soak for 10 minutes, until softened but not gummy, then drain.
To assemble: Fill a large bowl with hot water. Lay a clean dish towel on a flat work surface. Dip one rice paper wrapper in the water for about 5 seconds, until just barely softened yet still slightly stiff. (It will continue to soften as you assemble the wrap.)
Place 2 or 3 beef slices down the center of the wrapper, leaving a 1-inch margin at each end of the wrapper. Layer enough carrots to lightly cover the beef. Next, add a layer of rice vermicelli and top with a layer of arugula leaves. Pull one side of the rice paper over the filling, tightly folding over the two ends to form something that looks like an envelope, then roll to fully enclose the filling. If desired, cut in half diagonally. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Serve immediately or cover the rolls with a damp cloth for no more than an hour before serving. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Adapted from former Food section recipe editor Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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