We've had a SUPER hot summer so far! It took a while to get here, but now that it is - look out!!! It's always hard finding those things to cook when it's so hot out! So I made these delicious cold rolls that a friend I used to work with at Lush used to make when we had to do inventory! These are her exact words, except where I added stuff - in purple!
What you're going to need:
Rice paper wrappers (the 22cm-sized ones work pretty well)
100g (3 1/2oz) thin rice vermicelli noodles (about a handful-I usually use quite a bit more though)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
15 cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (I don't like shrimp and sub in crab)
1/2 cucumber, peeled if necessary and cut into thin sticks
Small handful fresh cilantro, torn up or left whole (mint or thai basil works too - I don't like cilantro, but it's necessary, just use an itty bitty bit!f)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional - I use!)
*You can pretty much add whatever fillings you want. Crab is tasty, also red pepper, snow peas, sprouts, mango...go crazy!
1. To prepare the filling, place noodles in a bowl of boiling water and let stand for about 3 minutes (or as package directs) to soften. Drain well and place in a medium bowl. Add carrot and rice vinegar and toss to combine. Cut the shrimp lengthwise in half.
2. To assemble the rolls, fill a shallow dish (I use a frying pan) with hot water and lay a clean towel over your work surface. Soak one rice paper round at a time in the water for about 10 seconds, until it's pliable, and lay it on the tea towel. Pat the surface with the edges of the towel to absorb any excess water.
3. Place two shrimp halves, a stick of cucumber and some noodles down the middle of the round. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts. Fold over one long side to cover, then fold up both ends. Roll the whole thing up as tightly as you can without tearing the wrapper.
Makes about 15 rolls, best eaten on the same day (not difficult). If you're curious as to why not to save them...well the rice paper starts to break up, and then they become really messy!!!
I also always make peanut sauce whenever I make the cold rolls, because it's super easy and also delicious. So, just in case you're interested... (DO MAKE THIS!!!)
2-4 Tbsp chicken or veggie broth
3 Tbsp peanut butter
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
2 Tbsp rice vinegar or lime juice
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1/4-1/2 tsp curry paste (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Keep it in the fridge. Makes about 1 cup.