Updated: Oct 1
This is one of the yummiest, most impressive appetizers. Healthy and easy, they're called Vietnamese-style rolls or spring rolls. The perfect summer go-to snack in my house. I love how crunchy they are, plus the sauce is what really makes these rolls disappear. I like to bring them to church for coffee hour or to serve them as a starter for a summer dinner when I have guests. A long time ago my boss, who is a talented chef, told me this is what he usually brings when he goes on a day boat-trip with his wife. I thought it's a wonderful idea since my husband isn't a big raw vegetable eater. How funny is that? I have no problem getting my kids to eat veggies, but my husband is a challenge.
A few days ago we finally went on the boat for the very first time this season. This year has been absolutely crazy. Since everything was closed or canceled due to coronavirus, we just got our boat back from the annual check-up place. What normally takes two weeks took two and a half months this year. I can't even tell you how excited the boys were to see the boat back! We went to test the boat the very next day for a half day. I decided to make these spring rolls to eat on the boat. They're yummy, easy to eat, and have both veggies and protein in every bite. Most importantly, they take almost no time to make!
Once your ingredients are prepped, the assembling fun begins as rice sheets are softened in hot water and used as a wrapping paper. The protein options are unlimited. I have made these with Japanese omelette, pork belly, grilled chicken, shrimp, smoked fish, sashimi style salmon, steak, tofu, sprouts, etc. The combination of veggies and herbs are unlimited as well: carrots, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, chili peppers, sweet peppers, etc (If you're looking for an easy way to cut the veggies into matchsticks, this mandoline works great!). You can have so much fun experimenting with this recipe!
Before we begin, let's talk about the peanut sauce for a second. This sauce is slightly sweet, spicy, and tangy. Every component that goes in the sauce is a superfood. Garlic, fresh ginger, chili sauce, honey, and even black bean garlic sauce. This sauce gives a deep umami flavor. The reason why I really like this sauce is because the black beans are fermented. It's a perfectly delicious way to eat more ferments on a daily basis.
Now, let's get started!
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Servings: 7 rolls
¾ pound small cooked shrimp (see note below)
1 bundle bean noodles
1 small cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
1 carrot, sliced into matchsticks
Few sprigs of cilantro
Few sprigs of mint
Few sprigs of basil (if you are lucky enough to find Thai basil, use that)
2-3 green onions, chopped (optional)
Peanut Butter Sauce Ingredients
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 clove garlic, grated (I like to use this zester)
1 inch ginger root, grated (I like to use this zester)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce
I used small shrimp. Not extra small, but small enough that I don't need to cut them in half. The size I used is called 51/60, which means there are 51-60 of these shrimp in one pound.
1. If your shrimp is already cooked, go on to step 2. If you need to cook the shrimp, place a pot on the stove with 3 cups of water. Add half an onion and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and add 2 teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning (recipe below). Let cook for 2 minutes. Then add the shrimp and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Nothing is worse than overcooked rubbery shrimp! Set the shrimp aside, but leave the water in the pot.
2. Use the water from the shrimp to cook the noodles (or heat up some water if you skipped step 1). Soak the noodles in the water for 30-60 seconds, then drain the noodles and set aside.
3. In a bowl large enough to fit one sheet of rice paper, add hot (not boiling) water.
4. Place one sheet of rice paper in the hot water for 20-30 seconds. When it's soft, take it out and place it flat on your working surface.
5. Place 4 shrimp, a small amount of noodles, veggies, and herbs on the sheet of rice paper.
6. Gently pull the bottom of the roll over the filling and start rolling gently. Tuck in the filling as you go.
7. Place finished roll on your serving platter, cutting it in half if you wish. Try to keep the rolls from touching each other.
8. Repeat steps 3-7 until you've used all the rice paper.
9. Add all the ingredients for the peanut butter sauce to a small bowl and whisk together.
10. Dip the spring rolls in the peanut butter sauce!
It's very important to keep rolls separate from each other when storing them. To store them, place in a glass container and put a wet paper towel on top, then cover the container with a lid. Store in the fridge for 2 days.
BONUS: Old Bay Seasoning
I make all my spice mixes from scratch. I don't like premade mixes because I like to know everything that goes in my body. Making my own spice mixes means I avoid MSG, unnecessary sugars, and calcium silicate, etc. It's so easy, and I like to keep all my spices in glass Mason jars.
Old Bay Seasoning Ingredients
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground celery seed
2 teaspoons pink salt
Old Bay Seasoning Directions
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container for up to 1 year.