We had an abundance of rice vermicelli and carrots in our fridge, so hubs found this recipe for summer rolls. Neither of us had worked with the rice paper before, and I was skeptical that the stiff boards would become the pliable, soft wrappers that I’ve enjoyed in many Thai and Vietnamese restaurants.
The ingredients took some time to prep, but once ready, the rolls came together very easily. The Thai chili peppers were extremely spicy, I had to pick a few out because my mouth was burning up. Hubs liked the heat. I adjusted the amount in the below recipe to accommodate this. We also had some leftover peanut sauce, which worked perfectly with these. They were hearty enough to have as a lunch, although they would work as a great appetizer.
Summer Rolls with Shrimp
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbs fish sauce
2 1/2 tsp lime juice
5 oz rice vermicelli, cooked and cooled
8 oz medium cooked shrimp, peeled with tails removed
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1/3 c chopped roasted peanuts
1 Thai chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 large cucumber, peeled
4 leaves of Boston lettuce, halved lengthwise
8 round rice paper wrappers (8-inch diameter)
1/2 c loosely packed fresh Thai basil leaves
1/2 c loosely packed cilantro leaves
Combine sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice in a small bowl. Toss 2 Tbs of the mixture with the rice vermicelli and set aside.
Coarsely chop shrimp. In a separate bowl, combine carrot, peanuts, and jalepeno in a small bowl. Add 1 Tbs of the fish sauce mixture; toss to combine. Cut peeled cucumber in half crosswise. Cut 1/4 inch planks from outermost part of each half, leaving the seeds behind. Cut each plank into 1/8 inch strips. Toss cucumber in the remaining fish sauce mixture.
Place lettuce on a platter. Spread a clean, damp kitchen towel on a work surface. Fill a 9-inch pie plate with 1 inch of room temperature water. Working one at a time, immerse each wrapper in water, making sure both sides get wet. Lay wrapper on a towel. Scatter basil and cilantro over the wrapper. Lay 5 strips of cucumber slices on the wrapper. Layer carrot mixture, noodles, and shrimp over the cucumbers. Fold burrito-style and roll closed, making sure the filling is tightly packed. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Wrap lettuce around each roll and serve.