Thai Summer Rolls

Thai Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Thai Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce

I love the idea of posting a recipe that includes the word “summer” when it’s mid-January and very cold in Michigan. The last time I made these was for an end-of-summer/back-to-school party. They are somewhat time consuming, but they are always a crowd pleaser. I typically serve them as part of my Chinese New Year feast, and, no matter how many I make, they always disappear quickly. I shop at several local Asian grocery stores (better selection and prices), but I’ve seen all of the ingredients for this recipe at the local grocery store in the ethnic food/Asian section. I make the summer rolls with ground chicken, but you could substitute firm tofu (cut into small cubes or strips), or even chopped shrimp (I make a Vietnamese shrimp roll which is very similar). I don’t always use carrots (they’re more traditional for Vietnamese style rolls), but I had a bag of shredded carrots, and I do like the color they add.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Pack of Large Rice Paper Wrappers Rice paper wrappers
  • 1 Lb. Ground Chicken (or Tofu or cooked chopped shrimp)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 4 TBS. Fish Sauce
  • 2 TBS. Fresh Lime Juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 Fresh Chili – seeded, membrane removed, finely chopped (or substitute 2 TBS. Chili Sauce)
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine (or Rice Wine)
  • 3-4 Cups Lettuce (Romaine or Green Leaf) – chopped
  • 5-6 Spring (Green) Onions – green parts only, thinly sliced lengthwise (matchstick style)
  • 1/2 English Cucumber- peeled, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Carrot Strips
  • 5-6 Oz. Vermicelli Rice Noodle (sticks)
  • 1.5 Cups Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil (Thai basil if available, otherwise chop the regular basil)

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a medium non-reactive bowl, whisk together honey, fish sauce, lime juice, chili, and wine. MarinadeAdd ground chicken (or whatever you are using) and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. In the meantime, soak the rice noodles (as directed on the package) until softened and drain. Soak the noodlesAssemble all of your ingredients around a cutting board or section of counter to create a good workspace. Assemble all ingredientsPrepare the dipping sauce (see below) and set aside. Saute chicken over medium heat until fully cooked; drain and move to workspace. Saute the chickenFill a pie plate about 1/2 full of warm water. Add one rice paper disk to the water and gently swish around (keeping flat) until the paper is softened – remove and lightly dry it on a paper or kitchen towel. Lay the rice paper disk in the center of the cutting board. Beginning about 2 inches from the bottom edge of the rice paper, lay about 2 TBS. of your chicken (or whatever you are using) on the rice paper forming a line, leaving one inch clear on each side (you will fold the sides over when you wrap). Lay the green onion strips, a thin layer of lettuce, the carrots and the cucumbers and then add the cilantro and basil. Finish with a thin layer of the rice noodles. layered and ready to rollTo roll: fold the bottom portion of the rice paper over the filling (it should cover it, if not use less filling next time or start your pile higher up). Although the rice paper seems really thin and delicate, it is actually very stretch and pretty durable. After folding the bottom half, fold the two sides over and then roll into a tight cylinder. Fold the sides overThru Aug 26 028Place the seam side down, and use a sharp knife to cut the roll into the desired number of pieces (two is traditional, but if you’re taking it to a party where there will be other appetizers, you can cut into three pieces – the middle one is just awkward because it’s open at both ends). Repeat process until all ingredients are used, or until you are tired of rolling. 🙂 Serve with room temperature with dipping sauce.

For the Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 TBS. Fish Sauce
  • 1 TBS. Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 TBS. Fresh Cilantro – chopped
  • 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp. Finely Chopped Chili (Jalapeno works well) – remove seeds if you don’t want too much spice, otherwise use seeds

Combine all ingredients in a medium non-reactive bowl, whisk until sugar is dissolved. Allow to stand at least 30 minutes for the best flavor. Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Serve at room temperature.

Platters of finished rolls

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