Friday, September 21, 2012

Fresh Summer Rolls

Honestly, I was not planning to post this summer rolls, or fresh spring rolls whichever you like to call, but I make these rolls every summer whenever it gets too hot to cook. And the weather in L.A. hasn’t cool down a bit.
Traditionally, summer rolls has vermicelli noodles in the main ingredients. But whenever I make these summer rolls, I skip it. Because I think vermicelli noodles and rice paper wrappers are both the same carb, I just have to skip one, which is the carb from noodles. If I choose to skip the carb from rice paper, I wouldn’t be able to make summer rolls, right?

To make these rolls more fun to make is to keep it simple and use whatever you have “fresh and raw” to make the rolls. And when I say, “raw” I meant raw vegetables or fruit, not raw meats! As for the proteins, you can use leftover rotisserie chicken or turkey, cooked shrimp or crab meat, tofu or mushrooms (mushrooms are rich source proteins), or other cooked proteins that you want to impress yourself, friends, and family. For me, I love making these rolls the day after Thanksgiving since we always have lots of turkey leftovers, and I ‘d call it “Sissy Nui’s Leftover Rolls.” Haaaaaaaaaaa…… 

And for the sauce, you can go ahead calling me lazy because this store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce is so perfect for these summer rolls. Just add some ground peanuts and you are set. Remember, these are summer rolls. We make these when it’s too hot to cook. Why bother turning the stove on to make the dipping sauce?! Agree?

What you need:

8 sheets rice papers (plus for mistakes)
1/2 cup carrots - shredded or julienned
1 medium cucumber julienned
1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
1/2 cup bean sprouts washed
8 medium size cooked shrimp halved
Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping
2 cups lukewarm water
Sweet chili sauce for dipping
Ground peanuts 

so thin that you can see through!

How to:

- In the medium bowl, stir ground peanuts into sweet chili sauce for the dipping, set aside.
- Add 2 cups of lukewarm water into a shallow dish such as a glass pie pan which fit perfectly to the size of rice paper wrappers.
- One at a time, submerge the dried rice paper into the lukewarm water for about 10 seconds or until it become soft.
- Lift it up to drip off the water and lay it on the dry surface and blot out the excess water that may have left. I used the kitchen towel to dry out the water from the rice paper, but it has be rolled fast before the rice paper dry out. 
- Fill with the ingredients start a few of Thai basil leaves, 2 halved of shrimp, few slices cucumber, few shredded carrots, and few bean sprouts. Be careful not to pile on too much ingredients because it might be too difficult to roll.
- Start to roll with the nearest side to you to the middle up and gently tighten up. Pull the two ends to close and roll up outward to seal the roll. Place it on the plate and cover with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to prevent dry. Repeat the steps with the remaining ingredients. 
- When serve, cut the middle of the roll diagonally to make they look neat and professional. Serve with Thai sweet chili and ground peanut sauce.

Enjoy and farewell Summer!

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