Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Refreshing, light and fast to assemble (once you've got the ingredients all prepped). Plus, any excuse to eat this sweet-salty-spicy peanut sauce by the spoonful gets 2 thumbs up from me! These may not be 100% authentic but they're yummy!

For a shortcut this recipe uses a ready-to-eat shrimp cocktail ring but feel free to cook your own shrimp instead. Have all your ingredients ready and easily accessible when you start to roll. Store the rolls without them touching as they will stick together. Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of the container to keep the rolls moist. Cover with moistened paper towel and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

Little tidbit of info: Summer rolls are the lighter, healthier cousin of spring rolls except they are not deep-fried and they are served cold. They are also known as Salad rolls. Also check out my blog post following this one for the deep-fried spring roll type.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls
Makes 16

1/2 shrimp cocktail ring
1 cup chopped imitation crab
2 ounces dried rice sticks or rice vermicelli
16 (8-1/4") round rice paper wrappers
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup julienned seeded cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup (2 large) scallions, sliced
4 lettuce leaves, cut in thin strips
Peanut Sauce, for dipping

1. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Clear a work surface such as a large wooden cutting board for rolling the summer rolls, and prepare a pan that is roomy enough to hold the finished rolls in a single layer. Place all filling ingredients in separate containers and arrange them in the following order around the work surface: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, cilantro, cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
3. Fill a wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot water. Evenly submerge one wrapper for about 30 seconds, or until it is soft and pliable. Remove from the water and place on the work surface.
4. Working quickly, lay 3 shrimp in a row just above the center of the wrapper. Layer all the remaining ingredients (except peanut sauce) on top, careful not to over-fill. Just a little of each ingredient in each roll.
5. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding it firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire pile up to close the top.
6. Turn each roll so that the seam faces downward and the row of shrimp faces up. Serve with Peanut Sauce (below).

Peanut Sauce
Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup peanut butter – either smooth or crunchy
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (or extra 2 tsp brown sugar)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove, mashed
1 tsp chilli sauce (sri racha)
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to combine, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. This can be prepared in advance and tastes even better a day later. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Rambling Tart said...

SO yummy! One of my favorite foods, but I've never made them! You've inspired me. :-)

On said...

these are one of my favorite things to eat, but I never make them because the prep is exhausting!

the rolls look wondeful and healthy...maybe I'll consider making this on the weekend.

Lot-O-Choc said...

Oooh wow these look great, so fun to make :). Id love to have a go, yours turned out brilliantly :).