Since most of you will not be raising your own crickets for this meal, I suggest you purchase them dry-roasted online. If you just can’t get down with the crickets, pan-fried dried shrimp are a great substitute.
- Add garlic, bird’s eye chile, carrots, and daikon to a 16-ounce Mason jar.
- In a medium saucepan, bring water, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to a low boil, then remove from heat. Pour the hot liquid over the cut vegetables. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Add white sugar to a small mixing bowl and pour hot water over top. Stir to dissolve. Add the fish sauce, garlic, and chile.
- Once the liquid has cooled to room temp, add the lime juice and top with crushed peanuts.
- Add maifun to a medium mixing bowl and pour boiling water over top until submerged. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes or until they are soft to the bite. Strain the noodles.
- Set up a large mixing bowl with warm water and arrange noodles, herbs, pickled veggies, and crickets on the counter. Lightly oil a dinner plate to use as your work surface for each roll.
- Dip the rice paper into the warm water and place on the plate. (Depending on the brand of rice paper you use, you might only need to quickly dip, whereas other brands will require a more thorough soak. Do a test to see how quickly they soften. They are easily to roll before they are too limp and sticky.) Add the herbs, noodles, and crickets as a compactly as you can, creating a dense central filling about 4" long and 2" wide.
- Fold top and bottom of the rice paper inwards, 1" over the edge of the filling. Turn the plate 90 degrees and begin to roll away from you, pushing the filling inside with your fingertips as you work, holding the roll together as best you can on either side.
- Serve the rolls immediately with dipping sauce on the side.
Julia Sherman runs Salad for President, an evolving publishing project that draws a meaningful connection between food, art and everyday obsessions.