Summer rolls are pretty perfect for, well, Summer! This let meal won't leave you feeling heavy and you can take advantage of all the summer produce. But, summer rolls are really great year round. The rice paper wrappers are naturally gluten free, so they are a great go to for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Typically summer rolls come with a protein like cooked shrimp, tofu or pork, along with some fresh herbs and veggies. Many times they will also have rice vermicelli noodles. Traditionally, they are served with a peanut dipping sauce.
The rolls I made used fresh sliced avocado, rice noodles, mint leaves, basil leaves, cucumber, carrots and cooked shrimp. I served them with a homemade peanut sauce and also a pre-made thai sweet chili sauce. The sweet chili sauce has quite a bit of sugar, so it should be used in moderation.
These rolls are a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen. If they don't like the traditional type ingredients, let them roll up something they do like - maybe chicken and broccoli! The sky is the limit with this dish. The wrapper is really just a casing for your creativity.
The only difficult part about the rolls, is getting the rice paper properly wet. The rice paper is hard and you need to soak it in water briefly to soften it up. if you leave it too long it quickly gets sticky and the paper will tear. It just takes a little practice. I wet the paper for about 15 seconds until it is pliable, but not 100% soft, then transfer to my work surface to start rolling everything up.
Rice paper wrappers
Rice vermicelli noodles (optional)
Bibb lettuce or shredded cabbage
Follow the instructions for wetting the rice paper wrapper to make it pliable. Place ingredients on top of one another in a nice pile toward the end of the wrapper closet to you. Don't overfill or it will tear. Begin rolling like you would a burrito or egg roll. Bring the closest end over the top of the ingredients, roll, then fold the sides in and continue rolling. That's it!
Peanut Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1-2 tsp brown sugar
chili garlic sauce*
Mix the peanut butter through the brown sugar. Add hot water slowly until desired consistency is achieved. If you want spicy peanut sauce top it with a dollop of chili garlic sauce.