Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Asian Summer Rolls

I've been to many different types of restaurants that serve some version of this cold dish. Whether it be Vietnamese, Thai, or Asian fusion, the summer roll, or fresh spring roll is a light refreshing (normally) appetizer that leaves you wanting more food but not feeling so full that you wonder why you ordered an entree. J is a huge fan of these and tends to order them whenever possible; so when I discovered that our grocery store was now carrying rice paper wrappers (sometimes called spring roll wrappers), I knew I just had to try these out for ourselves.

I was a little nervous about these at first. Anytime you are working with a new ingredient, especially one that seems so delicate it can daunting. This was surprisingly easy. The prep work took a little but of time but the actual wrapping was fairly fast. I think the next time would be much faster because I'm used to it. You should definitely prep everything before you try to start preparing these.

Asian Summer Rolls

8 rice paper wrappers
32 small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
1 1/2 cups rice vermicelli, cooked for cold noodle preparation according to package
1-2 cups red leaf lettuce, julienned
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Dipping Sauce

2 tbsp peanut butter (any variety)
1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ginger
1/2 cup warm water (to taste)

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients of dipping sauce. While mixing with a whisk, gradually add warm water until sauce reaches desired consistency/taste. Set aside.
  2. In a large pie plate soak rice paper wrappers (do each one right before you fill and wrap it, not all at the same time) according to instructions on the box. My package suggested hot water for 15-20 seconds. As the water cooled it took a little longer to softened. I even had to microwave my water once to keep it warm. Be sure you are using a microwavable container (my pie plate was Pyrex).
  3. Lay wrapper on a very clean tea towel to dry excess moisture and begin filling.
  4. Place 4 shrimp in a row in the center of the wrapper.
  5. Top with 1/8 of the noodles. Then add one 1/8 of the mint and cilantro, then 1/8 of the lettuce.
  6. To wrap, fold the top fairly tightly over the filling (do not tear). Fold each of the sides in tightly and then making sure there isn't too much air inside, fold the bottom up over it all. The roll should be firm not floppy.
  7. Repeat for remaining 7 wrappers.
  8. Serve with dipping sauce, makes 8 rolls.
I calculated these summer rolls at 2 WW points apiece. I did not calculate for the sauce. We at a few as a main course for something nice and light.

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