There’s something seductive about a ripe mango. Their heady fragrance. Their round, plumpness that yields to the gentle pressure of a squeeze letting you know it’s perfect to eat. Then you peel back their burnt orange skin to reveal the glistening, juicy flesh. Perfection.
Besides being loaded with vitamins and fiber, mangoes are quite versatile – both gorgeous & clever, quite the combination. Yes, they’re quite magical in a dessert or a smoothie but they’re savory divas too. These no-cook rice rolls are filled with vibrant mango and bright, fresh veggies. And ok, the rolls require a little prep work but it’s nothing more tedious than some chopping and slicing, then it’s a bit like an assembly line, placing the purple cabbage,crunchy cucumbers, toasted cashews and succulent mango slices on the slippery, softened rice paper.
If you’ve never used rice paper like this before, the rough side goes up. Soak one round at a time in warm water, take it out ever so carefully, lay it on a counter, place the filling ingredients in the center and roll it up. My first couple usually look a little sad. They still taste good. I battle on. Then after I’ve eaten them thinking – ‘why don’t I make these more often, they’re so good’. And they’re not calorific. Plus it’s a good way to enjoy veggies, especially when you’ve got a yummy cashew sauce to dip them in.
The trick is not to get too carried away loading with too many ingredients. It’s common to see them filled with a vermicelli rice or bean noodle but I used shredded purple cabbage instead. I think the reason the noodles are used because they make rolling easier by giving some foundation. Truthfully, both are good so if you want to add noodles, knock yourself out. I don’t think they’re necessary.
It was many years ago now but I still remember the anticipation in our Sydney household, waiting for that first case of mangoes, sent down by train from tropical far North Queensland, home of my stepfather. His dear friend Andy worked for the Queensland railway and he’d organize boxes of this much revered tropical fruit, to be shipped the 2300 kilometers (1,466 miles) to us by train. We’d then go and collect them from the train station close to our home. Mum was always the most excited. She’d stand at the kitchen sink gorging on the mangoes. I liked to crosshatch their plump cheeks then pop them inside out revealing all the neat little mango cubes. To this day I’ve never eaten a mango as good as those ones I’d devoured as a child. Nice memories. Okay, enough reminiscing for now so until next time, toodles.
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp sambal oelek (Asian chili paste)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 9, 8-in (20cm) rice paper rounds
- 2 to 3 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled sliced
- 2 small cucumbers, cut into long, thin strips
- 6 to 8 green onions (depending on size), cut into long strips
- 1/2 cup chopped cashews
- CASHEW DIPPING SAUCE
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped cashews
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sambal oelek
- To make the dipping sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover & set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make the rice rolls: Combine cilantro, sambal & honey in a small bowl.
- Place a rice paper round into a large pie plate half filled with warm water. Let it soak for about a minute or until softened. Remove to a flat, smooth work surface. Arrange mango, cucumber, green onion & red cabbage down center of rice round. Dollop a little of the cilantro mixture over filling. Carefully, fold the side of the rice wrapper over the filling & secure firmly; fold sides in. Roll-up filling to enclose filling. Place on a serving plate & keep covered. Repeat with remaining rice rounds, cilantro mixture & filling. Chill until ready to serve. Cut in half to serve.
- Serve with the cashew dipping sauce. Makes 9.