Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Good Monday morning, everybody!

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  I went to the Taste of Chicago with my mom on Saturday and it was a blast!  I love the Taste.  We go every year and it’s just so much fun to spend the day downtown and eat.

Anyway, one of the booths inspired me to do a little Asian cooking on Sunday…so here we have some delicious summer rolls that are just as easy to make as they are to eat…

Soft Asian Summer Rolls

For Dipping Sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons warm water

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon chili sauce (I used chili powder instead and it was fine)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon finely shredded carrot

1 scallion, thinly sliced

For the Rolls

6 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I am notorious for overcooking shrimp…so I used precooked cocktail shrimp and it was just fine.  If you don’t like shrimp, you can leave them out and make vegetarian rolls.)

2 oz rice noodles (these may be hard to find depending on where you live.  If you can’t find them, you can replace them with the oriental Ramen noodles)

6 rice paper rounds or egg roll wraps

12 basil leaves

12 large fresh mint leaves

½ cup shredded carrot

1.  To make dipping sauce, in a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water, then add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir until well combined.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  You can prepare the dipping sauce a day in advance.

2.  To make the rolls, cook the shrimp in boiling water for 2 minutes, and cut in half lengthwise; set aside.  If you’re using cocktail shrimp, simply remove the tail of 6-8 shrimps and set aside.  Cook the rice noodles/Ramen noodles according to the package directions.

3.  Line up the remaining ingredients on paper plates before beginning to make rolls.  Fill a large bowl or saucepan with very warm water that is not too hot to touch.  Place a rice paper round in the hot water and soak for 30 to 60 seconds, until it is pliable and the pattern on the round is barely visible.  Remove from the water and place on a clean work surface.  Place 2 basil leaves on the inner edge of the moistened round, about 1 inch from the edge and leaving about 1 inch on each side.  Top with about ¼ cup of the cooked rice noodles.  Place 2 shrimps on top.  Top with a heaping tablespoon of the carrots, then 2 leaves of mint*.

4.  Bring the edge of the round over the filling, fold in the sides, and roll.  Place the finished roll under a damp cloth or paper towel.  Repeat with the remaining rice paper rounds and filling ingredients.  The rolls may be prepared several hours before serving and stored covered by a  damp paper towel in a airtight container in the refrigerator.

5.  When ready to serve, slice the rolls in half on the diagonal and serve, cut ends up, with the dipping sauce.

*If you can’t find rice wraps, you can use egg roll wraps.  They have them at major grocery stores in the produce section (strange, I know).  Follow the directions on the package to prepare the wraps and fill as you would the rice round.  The egg roll wraps will need to be cooked, however, so heat up some oil in a pan and place 2-3 rolls in the hot oil, about 1-2 minutes on each side (watch carefully because as the oil heats, the cooking time will decrease).  Remove and let rest on some paper towels.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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