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Arkansas' Winning Recipe: Asian in Arkansas

“Lily is small in stature, but big in heart and cooking is a place where she feels especially skilled,” says Lily’s mom, Catherine. “She loves southern cuisine, but enjoys experimenting with recipes from around the world. Lily and I are able to bike to a farmers market every Saturday. Rice and soybeans are huge crops in Arkansas, so Lily decided to showcase these two things in her recipe. She also wanted to feature watermelon in her dish. Lily makes this recipe on the weekends so she can take it to school for lunch.”

- Lily Radtke, Age 11, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Arkansas.

Makes 4 Servings 


For the Spring Rolls:

  • 4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound shrimp, peeled, tails removed, and deveined
  • 8 brown-rice wrappers
  • 8 basil leaves, whole
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 8 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped
  • Ponzu sauce, for dipping (optional)

For the Edamame Salad:

  • 1 pound frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • ½ red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

For the Watermelon Skewers (not pictured):

  • 1 cup watermelon cubes
  • 16 sprig mint leaves, halved
  • 8 bamboo skewers


  1. To make the Spring Rolls: In a medium saucepan, cook vermicelli noodles according to package instructions; rinse, drain, and cool. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and sauté until pink and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Let cool and then coarsely chop.
  2. To Assemble: Place a rice wrapper in a bowl of warm water until softened then lay on a flat surface. Place one basil leaf first. Then add vermicelli noodles, 1/8th of shrimp, carrots, cucumber, and mint. Fold in the sides of the wrapper and then roll. Continue with remaining 7 wrappers. Serve with Ponzu sauce for dipping.
  3. To make the Edamame Salad: In a large stockpot of boiling water, cook the edamame over medium-high heat, until just softened; drain. Into a large bowl, add the onion, tomato, edamame, and garlic. In a separate small bowl, whisk thoroughly the olive oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and ginger. Pour the dressing over the salad and let sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until the dressing is absorbed.
  4. To make the Watermelon Skewers: Alternate watermelon and 2 whole mint leaves on skewers. Serve 2 skewers with 2 Spring Rolls and Edamame Salad.

523 calories 16g fat 70g carbohydrates 28g protein

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