Cook's note: You can buy rice paper rounds and rice noodles in Asian markets. Cook noodles according to package directions, generally about 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and refresh with cold water. Drain well.
Ha Nguyen says that the hotter the water used to soak the rice paper, the faster it will soften. She suggests that you push down firmly when you roll up the filling in the moist rice paper rounds. You want to make a tight cylinder.
1. Boil shrimp until just cooked, about 3 minutes. Refresh in cold water and drain. Remove shells; devein and cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.
2. Place pork in large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to boil on high heat; cover and boil for 25-30 minutes, or until pork is thoroughly cooked. Test by cutting pork in half; no pink color should remain in meat. Cool and cut into thin slices.
3. Soak one sheet of rice paper in hot tap water for about 10 seconds. Remove and place on clean, flat surface. Put leafy part of 1 leaf of lettuce, approximately 4-inches wide and 3-inches deep, on the bottom half of the rice paper. Add 1 tablespoon rice noodle, 1 slice pork, 2 leaves mint, 2 leaves basil, about 2 teaspoons grated carrots (if using). Roll bottom (the portion closest to you) over to form a tight partial cylinder. Fold right and left sides of rice paper toward the center.
4. Tuck shrimp and a piece of mint or basil into the pocket made by folding the right and left sides in. Finish rolling rice paper into a cylinder.
5. Cover each roll with damp paper towels as you make it. Store airtight in refrigerator.
6. Repeat until all rice papers are used.
Presentation: Pour dipping sauce or sauces into small bowls and serve with rolls. If you prefer, you can cut the rolls in half diagonally.
gram saturated fat, 54 milligrams cholesterol, 89 milligrams sodium, 18 percent calo ries from fat