I’m about to run out the door tonight to join my curling team for some tasty Thai food before hitting the ice show off our mad sweeping and rock throwing skills. But I thought I’d share this easy recipe for Vietnamese Spring rolls with you all before the weekend starts – maybe you can add them to your table before the holiday season comes into full swing. Heck, I’d bring these to a holiday spread, so add ’em to your list!
This is another one of those posts where I feel like it’s cheating to call this a recipe. It’s merely a set of instructions on what to chop and how to roll up a bunch of ingredients into a tasty little rice bundle. Salad rolls can be a bit finicky – with all the prepping and assembling; but since there is no cooking involved (unless you decide to cook the shrimp from raw), they are pretty straightforward. After you’re finished the chopping part, you could even get the kids involved – nothing like some child labour to get food on the table quick!
Shrimp Salad Rolls & Avocado Mango Salad Rolls
I like to serve these with two dips: a slightly spicy peanut dip and some nuoc cham. I shared the recipe for nuoc cham before when I made Vietnamese Noodle Bowls, and the recipe for the peanut sauce is below. When I make these, i like to use the smaller rice paper wraps; however, I recommend using the larger ones your first few times to limit the amount of tearing when you fill these up. You can stuff a little bit extra in if you use the larger ones too! I’ll admit that the portions for the cut vegetables and cooked noodles below are estimates. Cut what you think you need, plus maybe a little bit more. Anything leftover can be made into a big rice noodle salad the following day.
24 sheets rice paper (plus a few extra in case you get a major tear)
2-3 cups cooked vermicelli noodles
12 medium shrimp, peeled & cooked
2 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped
1 cup cucumber, sliced into strips/julienned
1 cup carrots, sliced into strips/julienned
1/3 cup green onions, sliced into strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 mango, sliced into strips
1 avocado, sliced into strips
1/4 cup peanuts, toasted
bunch Thai basil leaves
Bring some water to a boil. Place the water into a shallow dish, and allow to cool (so it’s comfortable to place your hands in). Meanwhile, slice the shrimp into two even halves (see photo); this way the shrimp will fit into the rolls better. Once the water is cool, working with one sheet of rice paper at a time, soak the rice paper in the water until softened. Top the sheet of rice paper with the fillings of your choice – or as recommended below – close to one end of the sheet. Start to roll the paper over the fillings like a jelly-roll/cigar, then bring in the sides over the fillings and continue to roll until you have a tight roll. Do not worry if you have a few small tears in your rice paper, as it will be sticky enough to hold everything together. Continue this process with each rice paper wrap and your choice of fillings.
For Shrimp Salad Rolls: top the rice paper with 2 shrimp halves, then some rice noodles, carrots, cucumber, green onion, lettuce, peanuts, and Thai Basil. Roll up the rice paper over the fillings. (I realized in the picture of this roll, I didn’t add the lettuce – but it’s in there for the remaining rolls!)
For Avocado & Mango Salad Rolls: top the rice paper with 2 slices of avocado, Thai Basil, 2 strips of mango, 2 strips of red pepper, rice noodles, and lettuce. Roll up the rice paper over the fillings.
Cover the salad rolls with a moist towel as you go so they won’t dry out. These can be prepared up to a day ahead, although they are best enjoyed right away. Cover with plastic wrap if preparing ahead.
Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin sauce – gluten free
1 Tbsp soy sauce – gluten free
1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
juice of one lime
2 Tbsp peanuts, toasted
Heat the peanut butter in a medium bowl in the microwave for about 20 seconds to soften it. Add the hoisin sauce, Sambal Oelek, soy sauce and lime juice to the bowl and stir everything to combine. Place into your serving dish and top with toasted peanuts.