Forget ice cream cones, beers, and brats – Fresh Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce are going to be your warm weather JAM over the next 6 months!
Oh, who am I kidding? I seriously considered procuring meyer lemons online after seeing a friend show off her homemade Buttermilk Meyer Lemon Ice Cream on Facebook earlier this week, am imagining new ways to kick myself for not buying more Sociable Cider while we were in Minneapolis last month, and, well, this whole episode…’nuf said.
Seriously though, Fresh Summer Rolls are already becoming a staple in our house as we continue to seek light and healthy spring recipes that are packed with fresh vegetables!
If you’ve never had nor made summer rolls at home, you are in for a TREAT. Chewy rice paper wrappers envelop shrimp and garden-fresh fillings including lettuce, avocado, carrots, fresh herbs, and the ingredient that makes these particular summer rolls super unique – spiralized cucumber instead of rice noodles!
Rice noodles are actually one of my favorite parts of summer rolls but to be honest, sometimes I get pumped about making summer rolls at home until I remember I have to prepare the damn noodles. It’s a whole nother thing that I’d just rather…not. So, in its place I used spiralized cucumber which adds THE most amazing crunch and freshness to these rolls. Total upgrade from rice noodles, if I do say so myself! Don’t worry if you don’t have a spiralizer – I’ve included modifications for you.
What takes these Fresh Summer Rolls from good to great though, is the four ingredient Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce I serve them with, which Ben and I have resorted to pouring onto each new bite. #restraint The sauce’s spice level is easy to adjust up or down depending on your tolerance, and man oh man, I’m telling you, the fresh herbs paired with the peanut sauce in particular will make you feel like you’re dining at your favorite Thai or Vietnamese restaurant with each bite.
I’ve made 20+ Fresh Summer Rolls over the past couple of weeks while recipe testing (wish I was kidding,) but Ben and I have had zero problems wolfing them down because they leave us “sushi full” vs “I hate myself” full (Google Louis C.K. “Eating Habits” if you need an explanation, though it is NSFW nor FTFOH (for the faint of heart!)) ?
Fresh, healthy, crunchy, creamy, light, and flavorful – you’re going to adore these rolls!
Start by spiralizing 2 small, thin cucumbers using the thinest blade on your unit. I have a Paderno Spiralizer and love it – I also love the fact that I don’t need to mess around cooking rice noodles for the filling of the rolls and can keep them packed with vegetables instead. If you don’t have a spiralizer, no problem, just peel then seed the cucumbers, and then cut them into thin sticks.
Transfer the spiralized cucumbers to a colander to drain while you prep the rest of the ingredients – you’ll be surprised by how much water comes out!
Next cook 15 jumbo shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. Drop the shrimp into salted boiling water for 1-1/2 minutes, or until cooked through, slice in half widthwise, and then chill. I’ve tried this recipe with smaller shrimp that I kept whole but they slipped and slid around when rolling. 16/20 count jumbo shrimp (meaning there’s between 16 and 20 shrimp per pound,) sliced in half make for nice and stable base for the roll. You’ll see!
Next pluck 20 leaves each mint and basil (cut basil leaves in half it they’re large,) peel then slice 2 carrots into matchsticks, and thinly slice 1 avocado. As I mentioned, I really, really love the combination of mint and basil in these rolls – so refreshing and distinctively “summer roll”.
Last step is to separate the leaves from 1 small head green leaf lettuce. This is just your run of the mill green leaf lettuce found at any grocery store.
Alrighty, time to wrap the rolls, starting with 10 rice paper rounds. I found this brand at my local Asian market (central Iowans: check out the one in the East Village across from Miyabi 9,) but you can order them online too. They’re insanely cheap and easily found gluten-free!
Rice paper rounds are textured and firm, and need a 10-15 second soak in hot tap water to become pliable. You want the wrapper to be pliable but not soggy when transferring it over to a cutting board to fill – you’ll see what I mean when you’re doing it!
In the center of the rice paper wrapper place three shrimp halves cut side up for pretty presentation then place a piece of lettuce on top, trimming if it extends past the shrimp. Fill the lettuce leaf with a couple slices of avocado and carrot, plus two leaves each fresh basil and mint. Finally, add a small handful of cucumber noodles then tightly stretch the bottom half of the wrapper over the top, pull the sides over, and then wrap like a burrito. Rice paper wrappers stretch and hold more than you think, so don’t be afraid to really wrap them tightly.
After all the Fresh Summer Rolls have been wrapped, whisk together the super easy Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce that I want to bathe in. Ahem. That’s just 1/4 cup coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari (or soy sauce if not GF,) 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 Tablespoon siracha chili sauce (or more or less – I used Lee Kum Kee brand,) and 2-3 Tablespoons hot water to reach your desired consistency. Spoon into a serving bowl then GO TO TOWN!!
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Fresh Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Fresh Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce are light, crunchy, and healthy, and paired with a craveable yet easy dipping sauce!
- 15 jumbo shrimp (16/20 count,) peeled and deveined
- 2 small, thin cucumbers
- 1 head leaf lettuce, core removed then leaves separated
- 2 carrots, peeled then cut into thin strips
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 20 basil leaves (large ones cut in half)
- 20 mint leaves
- 10 rice paper rounds
- Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon siracha chili sauce (or more or less - I used Lee Kum Kee brand)
- 2-3 Tablespoons hot water
- Add shrimp to a pot of salted, boiling water then simmer for 1-1/2 minutes or until cooked through. Drain, slice in half widthwise, then chill.
- Fit Spiralizer with the thin noodle blade then spiralize cucumbers with the peel on. Transfer noodles to a strainer to drain excess liquid while prepping remaining ingredients. Alternatively you could peel then seed a cucumber, and then cut into sticks.
- Fill a plate with a slight lip with hot tap water then dip a rice paper round in the water and let soak for 10-15 seconds, or until pliable but still with a little texture. Place wrapper on a cutting board then place three shrimp in the center. Top with a piece of lettuce then fill with a couple slices avocado, a few carrot sticks, a small handful of spiralized cucumber, and two leaves each fresh mint and basil. Pull the bottom of the rice paper round over the top of the ingredients tightly, then wrap the sides in and continue rolling like a burrito. Place onto a platter then continue with remaining ingredients. If not eating right away, wrap platter tightly with plastic wrap then refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (You can chill longer - we've gone 1-2 days, but the wrapper gets a little tough.)
- Whisk together Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce ingredients then taste and adjust rice vinegar and/or chili sauce if needed, adding more hot water to achieve desired consistency. Serve with Fresh Summer Rolls.
- I own the Paderno Spiralizer >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
The next time you get a summer roll craving, I encourage you to try rolling them at home vs going out to a restaurant. You’ll love how fresh and simple they are, plus no upcharge for extra dipping sauce! ;) Enjoy!