With warmer days and nights ahead of us it is nice to have something cool to eat. Salads are great, but what if you could roll up your salad and take it with you. Well with my recipe for Summer Rolls you can. Summer Rolls are a traditional Vietnamese roll made by rolling rice noodles, vegetables, and shrimp or pork in a rice paper wrapper. I left the meat out of my Summer Rolls, but this is one of those recipes that you can use just about any meat, seafood, or vegetable that you like. As more and more summer produce become available try different vegetables in your Summer Rolls. You could even make your own fruit Summer Rolls. So give my recipe a try and then try your own.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need a knife, measuring cups and spoons, a medium mixing bowl, a sauce pan, a cutting board, a large saute pan, and a large rectangular storage container.
If you are not allowed to use a knife or food processor by yourself you can ask an adult for help.
ChefElla’s Cool Vegetable Summer Rolls (6-8 Rolls)
1 pkg Rice Paper Wrappers (You can find these in the Asian section of your grocery store)
½ pkg Cellophane Noodles (You can find these in the Asian section of your grocery store)
-The package I used was 3 ¾ oz and was split into two bunches of noodles.
1 head Bibb or Boston Lettuce
2 Cups Carrots, Shredded
½ Cup Green Onions, Sliced Thin (about 4-5 small green onions)
½ Cup Peanuts, Chopped
1 Cup English or Seedless Cucumber, Julienne (Matchstick Cut)
1 ½ Cup Pineapple, Julienne (Matchstick Cut)
¼ Cup Cilantro Leaves, Loose Packed, Chopped Fine
¼ Cup Mint Leaves, Loose Packed, Chopped Fine
¼ Cup Basil or Thai Basil Leaves, Loose Packed, Chopped Fine, (about 4-5 large leaves)
1 Tbl Pineapple Juice
1 Tbl Sesame Oil
1 btl Peanut Sauce (You can find this in the Asian section of your grocery store)
½ Recipe Thai Dipping Sauce (See 2/5/15 ChefElla's Thai Broccoli & Chicken Salad)
3. Cook cellophane noodles according to the directions on the package. Make sure you break or cut the noodles into 2 inch strips before cooking them. Drain the cellophane noodles. After draining the noodles, mix with the pineapple juice and sesame oil, cilantro, mint, and basil in a bowl. Let noodles sit out to cool.
4. Prep all of your vegetables and set them out in front of a clean cutting board. You will need ½ piece of lettuce for each roll. When you wash your lettuce make sure it is dry. You can pat lettuce leaves dry with a towel. Remove the hard rib from each piece of lettuce.
5. Fill a large bowl or large sauté pan with warm water. Dip the rice paper wrapper into the water. Let the paper sit in the water for 30-40 seconds. Feel the rice paper it should begin to feel soft and smooth. Using two hands, remove the rice paper from the water and let the water drain off of it. Place the rice paper in the middle of your cutting board.
6. Put your lettuce leaf in the middle of the rice paper. Spread about ¼ cup of noodles, carrot, cucumber, and pineapple over the lettuce. Sprinkle green onions, and peanuts over the other ingredients.
7. Fold the end closest to you over the ingredients. Fold up each side of the rice paper over the ingredients. Carefully pull back all of the ingredients so that they are all together in the rice paper wrapper. Roll up the summer roll. The ingredients should be nice and tight inside the rice paper wrapper.
NOTE: Using rice paper takes some practice. You WILL break some of the wrappers. Don’t get upset, it is ok, that’s why there are so many in the package. If you break a wrapper simply start a new piece of rice paper and take the ingredients in the broken roll and transfer them into the new wrapper.
8. Take a piece of paper towel and dampen it with water. Line the bottom of your storage pan with damp towels. As you add the finished rolls to the pan cover them with damp towels. This will keep the rice paper from drying out and they will be moist when you eat them.
9. When you are ready to serve your rolls, cut them in half, or pieces, or just eat them whole. If you are going to cut the rolls into pieces begin by cutting off the very end of the roll. It is just folded rice paper with no vegetables, and it will not look very nice when you serve it.
10. Summer rolls are really meant to be eaten the same day, but you can get your ingredients ready ahead of time so that all you need to do is assemble them when you are ready to eat them. Serve your summer rolls with peanut sauce and Thai dipping sauce.
Summer rolls are great with many other fresh fruits and vegetables like, roasted beets, fresh corn, blanched asparagus, blanched green beans, watermelon, or apples. You could even fill your rolls with a shaved brussel sprout or carrot salad. Meats that work well in summer rolls are, shredded chicken, blanched shrimp, salmon, and even pulled or smoked pork.
Use your imagination and your favorite ingredients and make up your own summer roll recipe.