Summer Rolls and Spring Rolls often get mixed up. Spring Rolls are fried while Summer Rolls are made with rice paper wrappers and are always served cold, with a peanut based dipping sauce. Summer Rolls are always gluten free as the wrapper is made of only rice.
There are endless combinations of fillings you can use for these and I have provided my favorite, vegetarian version. You can also add cooked shrimp, thin slices of cucumber, or bean sprouts, mint and cilantro leaves.
Vegetable Summer Rolls
Makes 30 Rolls
½ cup peanut butter
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice, about 1 lime
5 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp ginger juice, from freshly grated ginger (or more if you like ginger)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp hot chili sauce like sambal oelek
Chopped green onion to garnish
In a medium bowl, mix sauce ingredients, set aside to let flavors develop.
*Tip: if you cannot have peanut butter, the sauce is also good with almond butter instead.
Fill a large pot half way with water and bring to a boil. Add carrots, and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, just until soft, but still slightly firm, pull carrots out, rinse under cold water and place on a paper towel. Bring water back up to a boil and repeat the same steps with the green beans. After removing green beans, turn heat off, and add rice noodles to the water, to soak – following package instructions. Rinse with cold water and set aside in colander to cool and dry.
Assemble all the filling ingredients on the counter, around a large, clean cutting board, or a clean, empty spot on your counter if it has a smooth surface.
Take a bowl big enough to fit the wrappers in (I used the tin pan below) and half fill it with cold water. One at a time, place a wrapper in the water until it is pliable, about 30 to 40 seconds, but not completely soft. Lay flat on your counter.
Place a piece of lettuce just below the center of the wrapper, then layer on top a basil leaf and the rest of the vegetables, (3 to 4 pieces of each, carrot, green bean, bell, and 1 or 2 slices of avocado).
Bring the bottom of the wrapper, (side closest to you) up over the filling, tucking it in, then fold the left and right sides in over the filling and gently roll away from you, pressing gently to form a tight roll, and end seam side down. Place on a plate and repeat. If you get a good groove going, you can assemble the filling, and then before starting to roll, place the next wrapper in the water to soften. If you are moving slowly though, they will get too soft by the time you get to it and you should just wait and do them one at a time.
Serve cold, or at room temp. The sauce will firm up in the fridge if you make it ahead of time. Make sure to take it out of the fridge about an hour before serving to check if is the right consistency. It should be slightly thick, but still pourable. Add a little water if needed.