Homemade Fresh Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce1

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce2
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed (or about 1 teaspoon minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or a chile garlic sauce, optional for spice
  • 1-2 Tablespoons warm water, or more as needed
  • optional garnish: crushed peanuts, sprinkle of crushed red pepper

Summer Rolls3

  • 10 spring roll rice paper wrappers
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned (you can peel, but I don't)
  • 1/2 of a large red pepper, julienned
  • 1/3 cup chopped purple cabbage
  • 1 ounce cooked rice noodles/rice vermicelli (optional)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • handful fresh cilantro (and/or mint, basil)
  • 5 large green lettuce leaves (romaine, butter, etc), torn in half
  • 20 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and sliced in half length-wise
  • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. First, read through the post above to learn some tips/tricks for making these summer rolls. Also, make sure every single ingredient in the summer rolls is prepared/chopped/cooked before you assembling.
  2. Prepare the dipping sauce: You can whisk everything together in a bowl or use a food processor. I always whisk them because it saves me from cleaning the food processor. Add everything to a medium bowl (except water and optional garnish) and whisk until smooth. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of warm water or until you reach desired thinness. Pour into a serving bowl/ramekin and top with garnish. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the rice paper wrappers: Pour warm water into a large bowl or 9-inch square or round baking pan. The baking pan is what I always use. Working with one at a time, dip the rice paper wrapper into the warm water for 15-20 seconds (or whatever the package suggests). Usually it's around that time. You want the wrapper to be soft, yet still slightly firm and pliable. Immediately remove from the water and place flat onto a work surface such as a large plastic or ceramic cutting board. Sometimes I use a large wood cutting board, but the wrappers stick to it a little more. Pat the wrapper slightly dry.
  4. Fill the rolls: Place a few sticks of carrot, cucumber, red pepper, and a sprinkle of cabbage on top of the bottom 1/3 of the rice paper as explained and pictured in the post. Then, a small amount of noodles (if using), a slice or two of avocado and a bit of cilantro. Lay 1/2 of a lettuce leaf on top and 4 slices of shrimp on top-- as pictured above. Remember, do not overstuff the roll. Start small then add more, as needed, as you roll each one.
  5. Roll them: Roll everything up tightly. To do so, gently pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Then, roll and use your hands to tuck the filling in as you go. It's basically like you're rolling a burrito! Remember, you want a very tight roll. You can fold in the sides of the rice paper roll if you wish, but sometimes I don't.
  6. After rolling each, place on a serving plate. Cut in half, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve with peanut sauce. This amount is enough for Kevin and I and there are always a couple leftover for lunch the next day.
  7. Make ahead tip/storing: Wrap rolls individually in plastic wrap (suggested to prevent sticking and then tearing) and layer in a tupperware between sheets of parchment or wax paper. Store up to 2-3 days. In terms of taste, the rolls are best served fresh the day they are made. Cover sauce tightly and store in the refrigerator for a couple days.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Nut allergy? You can dip the rolls into soy sauce or this tasty dipping sauce or this chile lime sauce.
  2. Hoisin sauce is found in the Asian section of grocery stores. It's everywhere. It's a pungent sauce typically used in Asian cuisine as a glaze for meats, in stir fries, or as dipping sauce. It's where most of the peanut sauce's flavor comes from. I do not suggest leaving it out. This stuff is delicious!
  3. As I mention a few times in the post, these ingredients can be played around with based on what you like/dietary needs. The obvious necessary ingredients are the rice papers and crunchy veggies.

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