Summer rolls are one of those snacks I frequently picked up at the market but never took the time to make. Until now! I don’t think I’ll ever buy them from the store again. Putting them together is so easy and they are wonderfully versatile – just fill with what you love or have on hand. Here I used shrimp, red bell pepper, scallion, cucumber, carrot, and thinly sliced jalapeño. Avocado, bibb lettuce and lightly blanched asparagus would be great additions as well. Just don’t leave out the mint and cilantro – they are the ingredients that will elevate your rolls above the ones from your corner grocer.
Thai Summer Rolls with Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 4 inch matchsticks. If you’ve never cut veggies into matchsticks, watch this quick tutorial on how to julienne here (a julienne cut is a smidge thinner than a matchstick cut but it really doesn’t matter).
- 1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and cut into 4 inch matchsticks
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 4 inch matchsticks
- 4 scallions (white and light green parts only), quartered lengthwise
- 2 jalapenos, seeds and white membranes removed, cut into very thin slices
- 1 bunch mint, leaves removed from stems
- half bunch cilantro, leaves removed from stems
- 16 rice-paper wrappers (available in the Asian food section of most stores)
- Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
Add shrimp to a pot of boiling water and cook until opaque, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Drain shrimp in colander and run under cold water to stop cooking and to cool completely. Dry with a paper towel, then carefully slice each in half lengthwise with a paring knife.
Fill a large bowl with hot tap water and spread a clean damp dish towel out next to the bowl. Soak one rice-paper wrapper in the hot water until soft and pliable (about 15-20 seconds).
Place wrapper flat on the damp kitchen towel and place a few mint and cilantro leaves in a row across the middle of the wrapper, leaving an inch or so on each side. Next, place three shrimp halves in a row on top of the cilantro and mint leaves.
Place three thin slices jalapenos in a row over shrimp, and add 1/16th of the the other vegetable matchsticks on top of jalapenos.
Fold top half of wrapper over filling, then fold in the two sides. Fold bottom part of wrapper up snugly but gently to close, then pat to seal. Place pretty side up on a damp paper towel-lined platter and cover with another damp paper towel.
Repeat steps until all sixteen are complete, leaving room between each on platter so they do not stick.
Make dipping sauce.
Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons chile garlic paste
- 4-6 tablespoons water
Whisk together all ingredients except water in a bowl. Whisk in 4 tablespoons water one at a time and blend until smooth, adding more water until desired thinness/consistency is reached.