You know those glorious weekends with get togethers and parties and football and one too many desserts, fried things, and beverages? That post weekend feeling where your body is craving crisp and light veggie packed foods? This, friends, is your recipe.
Summer rolls are sometimes mis-called spring rolls. They are similar, but with one key difference. Spring rolls are often wrapped in a dough like paper and then deep fried for a crisp and crunchy exterior. Summer rolls, on the other hand, are wrapped in rice paper and served uncooked. They are crisp, refreshing, and lighter than spring rolls. Perfect for when you are needing your veggie fix.
The first time I had a summer roll, it was at a swanky sushi joint. I was hooked. The snappy veggies and flavorful sauce had me at first bite. I became a summer roll regular, until I discover that these pretty little rolls are surprisingly easy to make at home! All the ingredients can be found at your local market, and they can be made for a fraction of the cost.
The beauty of the summer roll is threefold. One, you can use WHATEVER veggies you want. Like, honestly, truly, whatever you would like. Feel like a bell pepper would complete the dish? Have an almost forgotten bunch of carrots in the crisper drawer? Use whatever veggies you have. Two, they are a NO COOK recipe. That’s right folks. We are talking an easy dinner with no pots or pans in sight. You can sit down and linger over that glass of wine, there are no dishes in the sink to be found. Three, they are the most VERSATILE recipe that ever was. Light lunch, appetizer, midday snack? Check. Check. Check.
For ultimate summer rolls here are a few tips:
Tip #1: Line ‘em up.
So here’s the thing, the most important part of the summer roll is the prep. Remember how we don’t need to do any cooking here? Put that energy into perfect prep. Be sure to have all your veggies chopped, diced, and ready to go. I line all my prepped veggies up assembly line style on my cutting board so we are ready to roll (literally!) when the time comes.
Tip #2: Just roll with it.
If you are anything like me, the first few rolls will look like a slight disaster. Don’t sweat it. After your first few attempts, you will be churning out picture-perfect rolls. And there’s always a silver lining: those ugly rolls are perfect for snacking on while you are working away in the kitchen.
Tip #3: Waste no time.
Once those rolls are made, serve them as soon as possible. Summer rolls are many good things, but they aren’t storable. The liquid from the veggies will soften the rice paper wraps and turn them into mushy rice goo. Not a pretty picture, and even worse to eat. Don’t sweat it too much, just serve them within an hour or so, and you won’t have a problem.
For the dipping sauce:
- 1/4 cup liquid aminos OR tamari OR soy sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch, whisked with 2 tablespoons cold water
- 14 oz. shitrataki noodles, drained and rinsed well OR 14 oz. cooked rice noodles
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 8 rice paper wraps
1. Add all the dipping sauce ingredients into a saucepan except the scallions and arrowroot starch. Bring to a simmer.
2. Remove from the heat and add in the scallion.
3. Pour out 1/2 cup of this for dipping. Add the arrowroot starch mixture to the remaining sauce and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat until thickened.
4. Pour over the noodles, and add in the remaining teaspoon sesame oil. Toss to combine. Set aside.
5. Fill a shallow dish with hot water and place a damp kitchen towel on your work surface. Line up all your prepped veggies for assembly. Submerge one rice paper into the water.
6. Once softened, about a minute or so, remove and carefully spread out on the damp paper towel.
7. Top with cabbage.
8. Then noodles.
9. And the remaining ingredients.
10. Fold in the two short edges.
11. Fold over one long edge.
12. Roll like a burrito. Repeat with the remaining rolls.