Summer Rolls, Not Summer
I took a cooking class this winter in NYC and learned how to make "summer rolls".
Not spring rolls, but SUMMER rolls.....
"Spring" rolls are delicious fried things filled w/ veggies.....sort of like eggrolls.....that you get at the Chinese takeout place.
And even though it is spring, we are making "summer" rolls.....which are rice paper rolls filled with crunchy vegetables, rice noodles (vermicelli) and originate from Vietnam. Many times you will see cooked shrimp in traditional summer rolls, to confuse you more.
I am new to all of this.....but I like a challenge.
I suggest you watch a video on how to roll these rice paper wrappers.....it takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it will be easy.
You have to place the rice paper in a dish with warm water to soften, about 5 seconds on each side....then you have to work FAST, or the paper gets sticky.....but it is forgiving. You can just wet it again and work thru it, and enough rice paper rounds come in the package so you can throw it out and start again!
It's like a rolling a burrito.
Make sure you have everything sliced and ready and your bowl of warm water ready and a place to roll and wrap your bundles!
I used what I had:
thin slices of red bell pepper
cooked shrimp, sliced in half (tails removed)
sliced blanched asparagus (I blanched the asparagus for only 1 minute)
thin slices of heirloom red carrots
fresh dill (because I did not have cilantro....which is more traditional)
You can also use pretty lettuce leaves and thin slices of radish.
Remember, the packages are see through, so you want to lay the shrimp down so the outside of the shrimp is showing (the red side).
I bought some Chinese vermicelli rice noodles, but I wouldn't bother next time....it was an unnecessary step, and did not add any flavor to the rolls.
I made a dipping sauce with soy sauce, Asian sesame oil, scallions and sesame seeds.
These were crunchy, fresh and DELICIOUS!
These are a great party food too......very pretty.
All that hard work....but worth it.