Having around the clock hot weather equates to less time in a kitchen. That being written, those fancy spring rolls we adore in many Vietnamese restaurants are simple to make. Unless you’re a restaurant superstar chef, don’t worry if the spring rolls are not perfectly shaped with the shrimp perfectly aligned in the transparent wrapper. Just have fun making them. Perhaps, the carrots can be blanched, for small details do make a difference in contributing to the overall taste. Use small to medium size shrimp that are peeled, deveined and precooked with this recipe to avoid turning on the stove and to save time. The smaller shrimp is sweet, and defrosting them takes a few minutes. Serve them with Peanut Sauce, coconut rice and a Pineapple-Tomato Salad, and this makes a beautiful dish best served cold on a hot day.
Shrimp Spring Rolls
1/2 lb. carrots; julienned into 1-1/2″ length
Peanuts; roughly chopped
1 to 2 jalapeno chilies; seeds and ribs discarded; diced
Fresh cilantro, mint and/or basil; roughly chopped
1/2 lb. frozen small to medium shrimp; deveined, cleaned, precooked and defrosted
Scallions; thinly sliced
Optional: cooked chicken, mangoes, Thai basil, baby lettuce, and/or bean sprouts
Serve with Peanut Sauce*
1. Take one sheet of rice paper and dip it in hot water (110° to 120° F, usually very hot tap water) for no more than 10 seconds. Don’t worry if it comes out of the water still stiff, for it will continue to soften. Lay rice paper flat on a clean counter or work surface.
2. Working quickly, place a small amount of each ingredient in the center of the rice paper.
3. Roll the rice paper into a roll and tuck in the sides. Place on a plate and repeat with the other ingredients.
4. Serve with peanut sauce and enjoy.
1/4 to 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter; unsweetened
1/2 to 1 cup coconut milk; add more or less for desired texture
The juice of one lime
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 to 2 tsp. Thai chili paste
2 tsp. honey; to taste
3 tbsp. ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves; minced
1 jalapeno; seeds and ribs discarded, diced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper; to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro; chopped
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Before serving, mix in cilantro.
3. Serve with your favorite dish.
Note: To make a salad dressing, whisk in small amounts of Peanut sauce and Greek yogurt to get the desired amount and preferred taste.
Pineapple Tomato Salad
2 cups pineapples; cut into chunks
1/8 to 1/4 cup red onions; diced
1 jalapeno; diced
1/2 to 1 cup cilantro; roughly chopped
1 to 2 cucumbers; seeds removed; cut into chunks
1 to 2 tomatoes; cut into chunks
The juice of one lime
1/8 to 1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 to 1 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
Salt and pepper; to taste
1. Gently toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Let marinate for at least one hour.
2. Serve with chicken, seafood or your favorite meal.