Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I really love Vietnamese Summer Rolls.  I just made them a few days ago and I had so much more luck assembling them this time around and I think the trick was that I used larger sheets of rice wrappers or skins. So if you want to give this a try, bigger is better when it comes to your choice for rice wrappers. They can be found in the Asian section of some grocery stores or at Asian markets.  You can use any assortment of vegetables that you like or have on hand.  When I have had these at restaurants they often include shrimp and cucumbers, lettuce, basil, mint and cilantro along with rice noodles.  When I made them I used chicken, shrimp, lettuce, carrots, cilantro, basil, mint, cucumber, apple, avocado, green onions, and rice noodles.
I think they would be fun to make when entertaining, have an assortment of ingredients precut and let everyone have a go at assembling one or two using whatever they prefer for ingredients. I think they would be fun to make with kids too.  I used about 5 ounces of rice noodles, they require almost no time to cook. I dropped the noodles into boiling water for 3 minutes, then rinsed them under cold water and allowed them to drain.

The rice wrapper or skin requires just a quick dip in warm water, may 30 to 45 seconds in the bath, then lift the paper out of the
water.  I used a large cutting board to work from, so I didn’t end up with a counter that was too drippy from the rice wrappers.  Lay the wrapper on the
counter/board and add ingredients to one corner or edge of the wrapper, depending on whether you are using a round or square wrapper.  Roll the corner of the wrapper towards the center, one full roll, and then fold in the sides.  Once sides are rolled in and ingredients are sealed, roll the rest of the wrapper and smooth down the edges.  I definitely got a bit more skilled as I went on.  But, even if your first few don’t look too pretty, you will still enjoy the great fresh taste.

To make about 12 large summer rolls, I used:

12 or 14 shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed

1 ½ cups shredded chicken (what was left of a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)

4 or 5 leaves of leaf lettuce, shredded or chopped

2 or 3 medium carrots, julienned

3 small pickle cucumbers or 1 standard cucumber, diced, skin
removed if using large one

1 small tart apple, cut into thin wedges

1 avocado, peeled pitted and cut into thin wedges (cut this up last as it will turn brown fast)

3 or 4 green onions, sliced

4 – 6 ounces of rice noodles

1 package of rice wrappers

Peanut sauce

1 small onion

1 clove of garlic, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup smooth peanut butter

¼ cup warm water

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or ginger in a jar from
the produce section at the grocery store)

2 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in small sauté pan.  When onion and garlic are soft remove from
heat.  Add all ingredients to blender and
puree until smooth.  If you like a bit
more heat, add more hot chili sauce to taste.

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