Summer Rolls, Streamlined

Summer rolls are surprisingly easy to make once you realize this important fact: There are no rules in the world of Summer/Spring rolls!  In this post we’re focusing on rice paper wrappers rolled around fresh crunchy vegetables.  

If you leave the rolls open-ended and eliminate noodles that are a part of many recipes, you’ve simplified the process of getting this super-healthy snack/appetizer/main course/side dish on the table in record-breaking time. They are a delicious way to get in two or more servings of vegetables.

Making them for the first time? This video was good fun and exceedingly helpful. STOP HERE if you have taken notes on Brian Malarkey’s directions and ingredients. I think you’ll be good to go! 

But in case you want more info, here it is . . . 

Ingredients vary depending on what you have on hand. Everything is optional except the rice paper rounds. The rest can vary depending on what you have in your fridge. 

Leave the rolls whole as in the photograph above or cut into serving-size pieces as Brian shows in his video. Serve with one of the two sauces.

Summer Roll Ingredient Options:

  • Rice paper rounds/6-inch
  • Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • Jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • Spinach, arugula or lettuce, torn
  • Fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Carrots, peeled and julienned
  • Bell peppers, sliced thinly
  • Red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • Sprouts of all sorts
  • Fresh thyme, basil, cilantro and/or mint
  • Lime zest 
  • Sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Edible flowers
  • Nori seasoning/sprinkles
  • Mayonnaise, seasoned with yellow curry or other sauce/dressing you have on hand
  • Lime wedges
  • Optional sauces listed below

Peanut Butter Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  •  2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • optional garnish: crushed peanuts, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until smooth; serve with summer rolls. 

Hoison Sauce

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced 
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped grated 
  • 1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients and serve with summer rolls.

Instructions for making the Summer Rolls:

  1. Place vegetables, herbs and whatever else you have on hand in the middle of the slightly firm rice paper wrapper. Don’t over-stuff the roll. Begin with a small amount of filling then add a little more until you find what works with your size of rice paper roll. It takes a little practice.
  2. Work quickly. Gently pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Then, roll using your hands to tuck the filling in as you go. Remember, you want a very tight roll.
  3. You may add a second rice paper wrapper as was demonstrated in the video. 
  4. Serve the roll whole or cut into serving-size pieces as shown in the video.

Tips:

  • Pick up shredded carrots from the produce section.
  • Have everything sliced and ready to go before you begin assembling.
  • Use room-temp water and keep your work surface wet while rolling to prevent sticking.
  • Consider setting everything out as a buffet-style meal, letting everyone make their own. 
  • Amazon was my go-to source for rice paper wrappers during SIP. 
  • The more you make, the easier it gets.