These Vietnamese summer rolls are the perfect summer appetizer. Fresh herbs, chilled shrimp, vermicelli noodles, and thinly sliced vegetables are rolled in rice paper and dipped in a yummy peanut sauce. They are light and refreshing and the ideal food to enlist your guests’ help in making.
Year ago, before I went into business for myself, I worked for a large catering company. For one particularly large event, summer rolls were on the menu and I rolled hundreds of them. They turned out beautifully and made a stunning presentation, but ever since I’ve preferred the do-it-yourself approach when it comes to summer rolls. Not only does it take some of the prep off the cook, but it is a great way to get your guests in on the action.
Simply prep the peanut dipping sauce and ingredients in advance and lay them out decoratively with a big bowl of warm water. Demonstrate how to make a summer roll to one or two guests and then step back as everyone gives it a go.
Vietnamese Shrimp Summer Rolls – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 16 rolls
For the peanut dipping sauce:
1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons water
2-3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¾ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
For the Rolls:
24 (21-30 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
16 rice paper wrappers
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned (sliced thinly)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed
4 green onions, trimmed, white and green parts julienned
1 English hothouse cucumber, seeded and julienned
4 ounces rice vermicelli noodles, cooked to package directions, rinsed under cold water, and drained
2 Serrano chilies, sliced (optional)
Serve with: 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce, leaves gently removed and rinsed
For the peanut dipping sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. If too thick, add a little more water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil. Add the shrimp and boil until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and allow them to cool before slicing them in half lengthwise.
Organize all of your ingredients for the rolls. Fill a large bowl or pot with hot water. Making one roll at a time, place the rice paper wrapper in hot water and let it soak for 10 seconds until it just becomes pliable. Remove the wrapper from the water and lay it on a clean cutting board. Place three shrimp halves in the middle of the roll and then add a little of each of the remaining ingredients. The chef instructor will demonstrate how to roll the summer rolls. Once all the summer rolls have been assembled serve with the Bibb lettuce (the rolls can be wrapped in a lettuce leaf) and the peanut dipping sauce.