Recipe: Refreshing Fresh Rolls for Summer

Have you had one of those fresh rolls often found in Vietnamese restaurants? Do you ever wish you could just dive into a whole pile of them and scarf them down until you pass out from pure bliss? I recently made them and found out what makes them so refreshingly delicious. Ready for this? It’s mint! Amazing.

INGREDIENTS:

Rolls

  • 10 large rice wrappers
  • 2 ounces (1 bundle) of rice vermicelli
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro (standard grocery store sized bunch, exact amount doesn’t matter)
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh mint (standard grocery store sized bunch, exact amount doesn’t matter)
  • 1/2 bunch of Thai basil (standard grocery store sized bunch, exact amount doesn’t matter)
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned (or if you’re lazy like me, buy a bag of shredded carrots)
  • 30 medium shrimp (3 per wrap) – if vegetarian, replace with 2 belle peppers, julienned.

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

TOOLS:

  • A shallow pan or plate slightly larger than the rice wrappers filled with water (to dip wrappers in) *I had a special dipping device I bought from the Vietnamese grocery, but a pan or plate will do just fine*
  • Cutting board and knife
  • A cutting board or counter that is larger than the rice wrapper
  • A pot to boil shrimp in
  • Slotted spoon
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Plate

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prep

  1. Boil water in a pot. When the water is at a hard boil, drop in your shrimp. Boil about 2 minutes for thawed shrimp and 5-6 for frozen.
  2. Remove shrimp from pot and set aside to cool.
  3. Drop rice noodles in boiling water for about 2 minutes, when soft, remove and rinse with cold water. I just use the same pot and water I cooked the shrimp in, but you can use a new pot if you don’t want slightly shrimpy noodles.
  4. Prepare all your raw ingredients. Peel and julienne a cucumber and carrot (and 2 bell peppers if using), coarsely chop cilantro, mint, and basil.
  5. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together and put aside.

Assembly

  1. Dip rice paper in water for a few seconds. Paper should still be very slightly stiff.
  2. Place paper on your cutting board. Place 3 shrimp in the middle of the paper.
  3. Put raw ingredients as you like, taking care not to overload the paper.
  4. Wrap the sides of the paper over the fillings and roll from the bottom (like a burrito).
  5. Store on a plate seam side down (shrimp side up) until ready to eat. As you can see from my photos, some of them got eaten in the process!

Author: Maddy

I love to eat and I love to cook. A favorite hobby of mine is trying to recreate something delicious I've had - and trying, and trying - and enjoying the unique results. I also enjoy experimenting with food and sometimes accidentally end up making something really delicious...

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