A few years ago a Vietnamese restaurant chain opened a location at one of the malls in my city. My Mom and I stopped in during one of our marathon shopping trips and tried their vegetarian summer rolls. Just like that an obsession was born. Now we cannot step foot in this mall without getting one! So when I saw a package of the rice paper wrappers at the grocery store I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me to try making them at home. Initially my objective was to keep my recipe as close to the food court summer rolls as possible, however after tweaking the recipe a few times it ended up being completely different. Read on for the full recipe for my vegetarian summer rolls and a spicy peanut dipping sauce from Cookie and Kate.
Tropical Summer Rolls
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced into thin strips
- 1 long English cucumber cut into match sticks
- 2 large carrots shredded
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/8 cup fresh mint
- 1 avocado cut into strips
- 1 mango cut into strips
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 5 rice paper wrappers
Prepare the pepper, cucumber, carrot, herbs, avocado, and mango. Fill a large flat bowl (a pie plate would be ideal) with hot water. Gently place one rice paper wrapper into the water and allow it to sit for about 15 seconds. Once the wrapper has softened, carefully remove from the water and place on a clean tea towel. This is the trickiest part and I definitely had to have a few practice rounds before I could get one out of the water without tearing it or getting it stuck together. Assemble the ingredients, taking care not to overfill. Fold over the two ends to seal off the top and bottom of the roll, then roll up like a burrito. This takes some practice but eventually you will get the hang of it!
- ½ cup roasted peanuts (unsalted or lightly salted)
- ½ cup light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- about 5 cloves garlic
- pinch of red pepper flakes
In a food processor, combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients until fairly smooth. Transfer sauce to ramekins for serving.
Serve together and enjoy! I packed a few summer rolls that I’d made the night before in my lunch and was half expecting them to be soggy but they actually kept quite well.