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Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Shrimp

If you've never tried making Vietnamese summer rolls at home, give it a whirl. As long as you have all the ingredients prepared and within reach, it's a very simple process and once you get the hang of rolling they're pretty quick to make. Like most Vietnamese dishes, the combination of flavors and textures is fresh, delicate and positively delicious.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Shrimp

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Shrimp

  • Ingredients:
  • 18 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 6 ounces thin rice noodles, cooked, drained and rinsed
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2/3 cup whole mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 small head tender leaf lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
  • 2/3 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
  • 12 round rice paper wrappers (about 8-1/2 inch diameter)
  • Peanut Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)

Preparation:
Make the peanut sauce (recipe follows) first so it can cool to room temperature while you prepare the rolls.

Have all of your prepared ingredients ready and arranged around a large cutting board. Dampen a clean kitchen towel with water and set aside.

Fill a 10-inch pie plate with hot water and place it next to your work area. Dip one of the rice paper sheets into the hot water and soak for 30 to 40 seconds, just long enough to make it soft and pliable. Remove the wrapper from the water and lay it flat on the cutting board.

Arrange 3 pieces of shrimp, outer side down, in a row in the center of the wrapper. Place some noodles on top of the shrimp and arrange a few pieces of scallion and some mint leaves on top of those. Add a layer of lettuce, then the cilantro leaves.

Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper up over the filling, then fold the right and left sides over the center. Carefully roll up to the top edge as tightly as possible. The starch in the rice paper wrapper should seal the roll rather firmly.

Place seam side down on a serving platter and cover with the damp towel to keep moist while you make the remainder of the rolls. Serve as soon as possible with peanut sauce for dipping (recipe follows).

Makes 12 rolls

Recipe Notes:
We've successfully stored leftover rolls in a tightly sealed container for 24 hours. Even inside the container we covered them with a moist sheet of paper towel topped with plastic wrap. We don't recommend keeping them any longer - if the wrappers dry out there's really nothing you can do to revive them.

Peanut Dipping Sauce
  • Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sriracha (Asian-style hot sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted peanuts, chopped for garnish

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients except chopped peanuts in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust the sugar and sriracha if desired. Transfer to serving dishes and allow to cool to room temperature. Garnish with chopped peanuts and serve with summer rolls.

Makes about 1 cup

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