I’ve got a serious case of the Mondays. As in, I’d like to be blogging pictures of chocolate chip cookies and margaritas. Scratch that – I’d actually like to be eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking margaritas. I’m not going to try to sell you on these Vietnamese Summer Rolls as a substitute for either of those things, but I am going to tell you that these light, fresh rolls are one of my favorite recent dinners and won’t give you nearly the sugar hangover you’ll get from the other two.
(They will also leave you plenty of room for cookies and margaritas later in the week.)
I’ve blogged about summer rolls in the past because they are one of my favorite DIY dinners. Set out the wrappers and all the fillings and everyone can make their own right at the dinner table. There’s hardly a need for a recipe, except that I’ve found this combination to be particularly worth recreating. There’s crunch from the carrots, cucumbers, and red pepper and a creamy sweetness from the avocado and mango.
I also wanted to re-visit summer rolls on the blog because of this amazing dipping sauce you see below. In that dipping sauce is a creamy, sweet and sour combination of peanut butter, hoisin sauce, coconut milk, and rice vinegar that lasted only a few hours in my refrigerator before I started scooping into it with a spoon. It’s that good.
These summer rolls are vegan and gluten-free, if you’re looking for that sort of thing. But they are also a perfect solution to mid-summer heat and bounty of produce.
And I know a thing or two about how to beat the heat.
- 1 package (about 20) round rice paper wrappers (see note)
- 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves (Thai basil will work best, but any other variety will do)
- 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 carrot, cut into thin strips
- 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips
- 1 mango, cut into thin strips
- 1 avocado, cut into thin strips (squeeze a little lemon over this if you won’t serve it right away)
- Hoisin-Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
- Set out all ingredients listed above. Just before serving, soak 1 rice paper at a time in water until it becomes oft and shake to drain. Lay rice paper out on a large plate or cutting board. Add ingredients of choice in a line across the lower quarter of the paper in the following order – lettuce, basil, red pepper, carrot, cucumber, mango, avocado.
- Close the rolls by folding the left and right sides of the paper towards the middle and rolling up tightly from the bottom of the roll.
- Serve immediately with Hoisin-Peanut Dipping Sauce.
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup light coconut milk
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (Asian chili sauce), more or less, to taste
- Place a small pan over medium heat. When hot, add the sesame oil and garlic and cook, stirring, just until the garlic softens. Add the coconut milk and cook until it just begins to simmer. Add the remaining ingredients all at once and whisk to combine. Heat, stirring frequently, just until the sauce begins to simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool before using.