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Vietnamese Summer Rolls


What a perfect summer food…no need to use the oven, just boil a little water in the teapot…chop some veggies and herbs and you’re all set.

We actually made these sometime in July…but I thought I would post about them in honor of the 113° day we had this last Monday.  I love these for their refreshing and crisp taste, and that you can go in any number of directions for their dipping sauce.

Ingredients used:  shredded carrots, cucumber spears, butter lettuce, basil, mint, cilantro, chopped peanuts, cold rice noodles, and shrimp.  Other possible additions include tofu, bean sprouts, cabbage, radish, shredded chicken or duck, or anything else you can think of.  The rice noodles get soaked in water just off a boil and then drained and dunked into cold water until you are ready to use them.

The wrappers can be a little tricky.  They need to soak for a minute or so in hot water.  If you let them soak too long, they can tear and be unwieldy…if you don’t soak them long enough, they will crack and not be flexible.  I find that using a pie dish or shallow tart pan works well and I keep a kettle of warm water available to refresh the water as I go.  Another trick is to lay them on a damp tea towel while you pile in the fillings, this will prevent them from sticking and allow you to pick up the edges to fold and roll them burrito style.

I layer flat cilantro leaves on the bottom and shrimp over those  as that will be the prettiest side, pile all the other ingredients you want in and then fold the top down, both sides in tight and then roll towards you.  You can make these ahead of time and store in the fridge covered with a damp towel.

I neglected to get any photos of the fabulous dipping sauce that Woody threw together…which was perfect.  It involved mayo, sriracha, soy sauce, ponzu, a little rice vinegar, and sesame oil.  You really can’t go wrong.  A simple peanut sauce would be delicious as well.

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