Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

So it's only Tuesday but I've already switched up the menu plan a bit. Not a big deal - I just switched around Tuesday's and Wednesday's meals. However, in case you were wondering, that's why I'm writing about Wednesday's meal on Tuesday!

The Vietnamese rolls worked well for dinner but would also be excellent appetizers as well. A word of caution, however: this is a lot of chopping. You don't have to add in as many vegetables as I did, but I always love an opportunity to throw in extra vegetables. So just add on a little extra time to do the prep work...or you could shell out a few extra bucks and buy them pre-chopped as well.

I couldn't find rice paper wrappers at the Commissary so I used soy wrappers instead. I liked that it added a little extra protein but they were way too small to fully wrap these rolls. It made for a messy dinner, but well worth it.

We really liked the dipping sauce, too. Even my husband, who isn't a fan of peanut butter in the first place (I made ours half peanut butter and half almond butter for him, though). You'll definitely see this sauce in other recipes in the near future.

I originally was going to assemble these rolls myself but after starting a few, I decided that we could just assemble our rolls as we ate instead. Messy but still was delicious and kind of fun (I happen to like playing with my food!).

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Shrimp
Taken from: http://ahintofhoney.blogspot.com/2009/09/vietnamese-summer-rolls-with-peanut.html
  • cellophane noodles (I used rice noodles but bean threads could also be a substitute)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper
  • Bibb lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
  • carrots, peeled, julienned (could be shredded as well)
  • red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • bamboo shoots, sliced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • fresh mint leaves, minced
  • Rice paper wrappers (I used soy wrappers)
Peanut Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sriracha chili sauce (I used hot sauce instead)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. water (to thin it down)

-Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and let drain.Toss with vinegar and sugar. Set aside.
-To make the peanut sauce, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk together, adding water by the tablespoon until the desired consistency.
-To cook the shrimp, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 10 seconds. Add shrimp and saute until just cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
-To assemble the summer rolls, soften the rice paper in hot water, according to package directions. Place the fillings on the center of the paper, fold up the sides and then roll tightly. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Slice on the diagonal, drizzle with peanut sauce, and serve (with extra sauce for dipping).


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