Vietnamese summer rolls are one of my favorite light and fresh snack options, and they’re so colorful too! These rice paper wrapped rolls are naturally gluten free, don’t require any actual cooking and they are a real show stopper for guests. The filling options are endless. I like filling mine with cooked shrimp and a variety of raw veggies like cucumber, avocado and carrots. You can omit the shrimp and sub with tofu, or make them completely veggie based. Let your imagination run wild! One thing to note, wrapping the rolls takes some practice, so don’t get discouraged if your first few turn out a little funky looking. They will still be delish, and practice makes perfect!
(Makes 6 – 8 Summer Rolls)
1 package rice paper rounds
1/2 lb cooked shrimp, sliced in half lengthwise
2 small carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 of an English or hothouse cucumber, cut into matchsticks and drained of extra moisture
2-3 Boston lettuce leaves (rinsed, dried, and tough ribs discarded)
30 cilantro leaves
1 ripe hass avocado, sliced
2 green onions, root removed & sliced into diagonal rings
1 cup cooked brown rice vermicelli noodles, patted dry
Prepare all your filling ingredients ahead of time, you want to have easy access to everything so you can become a summer roll making machine!
The brown rice vermicelli needs to be soaked in hot water for 15 minutes. Once it’s soaked, drain the noodles and dry them on a plate lined with paper towel. You want them super dry so the filling doesn’t become a wet, sloppy mess…I speak from experience! 🙂
These are the Summer Roll wrappers. Out of the package, they look like plastic sheets that could not possible be edible. Don’t be deceived, all these need is a little dip in some super warm water…
So here’s the tricky part I mentioned. You don’t want to soak these. Dunk for no more than 5 seconds and drain the disc. It will still feel slightly hard, and you’ll be thinking to yourself…”Self, these don’t feel soft and pliable…am I doing something wrong?” No! If the rice paper feels super pliable, you’ve gone too far. It’s going to bunch up on itself and dissolve. If that happens, just toss it and try again with a new disc. As you work through making these, you’ll begin to be able to “read” the appropriate time to soak your discs.
Next, place your disc onto the working surface (F.Y.I. – don’t use a wooden board like me, you can run into some issues with the disc sticking to the board.)
Now to fill! You’ll want to place your filling on the top 1/3 of the wrapper. Start with your sliced shrimp, pink side down. This way, you’ll see the lovely color of the shrimp peaking out of the transparent rice paper wrapper when it’s assembled.
Next, some avocado slices…
Then the lettuce leaves…
Then the vermicelli noodles…
And finally the crunchy veggies!
And now, you’re ready to roll! This process is the same you’d use to close a wrap, or a burrito.
Fold over the top of the rice paper wrapper, essentially covering the pile of filling you just created.
Then, fold both sides in, tucking them in tightly.
Finally, close up the roll by rolling the remaining wrapper around the filling.
YOU DID IT!! Now to make a gazillion more! 🙂
Slice these diagonally and serve immediately. You can serve these with hoisin sauce, or my delish peanut dipping sauce (below). You can even make these a day ahead and store in the fridge, although it will slightly firm up the wrapper and the noodles just a tad.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
2/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons Ponzu Sauce (citrus seasoned Soy Sauce, recommended brand: Kikkoman)
Whisk together sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Garnish with chopped peanuts or sesame seeds if desired.