- 1 firm Italian eggplant, or 4 firm small Italian or Asian eggplants
- 1 cup (250 mL) julienned carrots
- 2 cups (500 mL) fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced shallot or onion
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped water chestnuts
- 12 to 16 sheets rice paper wrappers (8-1/2 inch/22 cm diameter)
- 1 head Boston or leaf lettuce
- Bunch Thai or Italian basil leaf
Cut eggplant into 2-inch/5 cm squares, 1/2 inch/ 1 cm thick. In large pot of salted boiling water, cook eggplant until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to colander; weigh down with plate and drain until cool. Blanch carrots until tender-crisp, 20 seconds; drain and chill under cold water. Stem shiitakes (reserve for stockpot); slice caps.
In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and salt; sauté until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl; let cool. Mix in eggplant and carrots.
Fill large pie plate with hot water and spread clean tea towel on work surface. Dip rice paper wrapper into water until pliable, about 10 seconds. Place on tea towel. Place half of a lettuce leaf on lower half of rice paper wrapper; top with 1 or 2 basil leaves and loosely packed 1/4 cup/60 mL eggplant mixture. Fold bottom edge over filling; tuck in sides and roll up into tight cylinder. Place roll on platter, seam side down; cover with damp towel to prevent drying. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Make-ahead: Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 4 hours.) To serve, halve each roll on a slight diagonal. Serve with Filipino Sweet-and-Sour Dipping Sauce.
Makes 24 to 32 pieces.