There's a recipe in one of the Moosewood books I've always liked, where you make little one-bite wraps with spinach leaves, filling each with pinches ot peanuts, toasted coconut, and chopped raw limes. This is a grown up version of that, it sounds well fiddly to make but deeply yummy. Serves 4, no nutritional info given. From olive, February 2004.
- 6 small chopped shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 cm root ginger
- 3 mild red chillies, seeded and chopped
- 3 tbsps roasted salted peanuts
- 2 tsp shrimp paste
- 2 tbsps fish sauce
- 4 tbsps palm sugar (or light muscovado)
- 2 heads bok choi or lettuce
- 2 firm not too ripe mangoes, finely sliced lengthways
- Half a fresh coconut, shaved into shreds with a potato peeler
- Handful fresh basil, Thai if you can get it
- 4 spring onions, finely shredded lengthways
- 2 limes, halved
Blast the shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor until well chopped but not mushy.
Crush the peanuts, keeping some texture.
In a pan, heat 200 ml water, the shallot mixture, the peanuts, shrimp paste, fish sauce and sugar. Boil hard, stirring, for 15 – 20 minutes until thick, dark, sticky and glossy.
Lay out everything on a platter, with the sauce in little bowls.
Take a leaf of bok choi or lettuce, lay on a slice of mango, spread with peanut sauce, add coconut, basil and onions. Squeeze with lime juice, roll and eat.
You'd have to be careful what bok choi you got, so there was a lot of leaf to white stalk. Spinach might be just as good as lettuce. Having to slice the mangoes that way round means no cheating and buying pre-prepared, you could do that but you'd have to rethink the physical structure of the wrap to allow for cubes of mango. It would mean you could have riper mango, though. This has the potential to be really, really sticky – get lots of wetwipes.