Vietnamese Summer Rolls
The first time I saw a photo of Vietnamese summer rolls I just thought ‘wow’! I love spring rolls (egg rolls) because of their wonderful crispy exterior, but summer rolls are slightly different, still oozing Asian character but featuring a very different coating and a more subtle, fragrant characteristic which you will love.
These are lovely in the summer (hence the name) but perfect served as an appetizer or light meal any time of the year.
What are Vietnamese Summer Rolls?
A summer roll is a Vietnamese dish made by enclosing a filling in a soft rice paper wrap. Typical ingredients used to make the filling include shrimp, pork, rice vermicelli, and vegetables.
Vietnamese summer rolls are served chilled or at room temperature and they are not fried like egg rolls are, which means they are soft and squishy on the outside and then the filling is, well, it depends on the ingredients used. Try to incorporate a few different textures for more appeal.
A popular appetizer at Vietnamese restaurants, these delicious Vietnamese summer rolls are popular in Vietnam’s neighboring countries and their popularity is spreading all over the globe. If you enjoy egg rolls but fancy something lighter, you will probably enjoy summer rolls. No, you definitely will!
Tips for Sensational Vietnamese Summer Rolls
You will need a bowl of warm water to soak your dried rice paper. You should also prepare all your filling ingredients before you start, with each item chopped, shredded or whatever and in its own little dish, or at least spaced out on a clean counter top. I am quite pushed for space here so I just have little rows of ingredients then work on a chopping board, making one summer roll at a time.
You can buy a package of Vietnamese rice paper at any Asian food store worth its salt, or some grocery stores. These will be thin, opaque, rigid white disks but they do soften after soaking in water for about a minute, and that is when you add the filling and roll them up. Summer rolls are nice served with hoisin sauce, satay sauce or any other Asian sauce which complements the filling.
Photo courtesy of: Average Jane, on Flickr
The Results of My Vietnamese Summer Rolls Recipe
My first summer roll recipe wasn’t so great because I wasn’t organized (see the above pointer about having all your ingredients ready before you begin, and that includes cooking your shrimp, dicing your green onions etc) and also because I rolled them too loosely!
You might need to practice a bit first. Basically they should not be rolled too tight (else they split) or too loose (so the filling moves around). Try to find a happy medium.
How to Serve Vietnamese Summer Rolls
Vietnamese summer rolls are a wonderful appetizer and you can also just serve them as a snack. Sometimes I make a batch of these (it really isn’t worth just making 1 or 2!) and then have a couple in the evening while watching the TV instead of something higher in calories or fat.
These are surprisingly low in fat and calories but oh so satisfying! Try some new ingredients if you want to get creative. Avocado would work, or you could swap the shrimp for shredded chicken breast.
- 12 large shell-on shrimp
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 pound (450g) mangoes, peeled, pitted, cut into ⅛ inch matchsticks
- 8 rice paper rounds plus more in case some split (8 inch diameter)
- 3 ounces (85g) vermicelli rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Leaves from 1 bunch of cilantro
- Leaves from 1 bunch of mint
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ peeled, cored cucumber, cut into ⅛ inch matchsticks
- Handful of shredded lettuce
- 3 julienne-cut green onions
- 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 2½ teaspoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Boil the shrimp in water for 3 minutes or until pink then chill in ice water to stop them cooking.
- Peel them, pat them dry and cut each in half lengthwise.
- Remove the vein.
- Boil the noodles for 3 minutes or until just tender, then rinse under cold water.
- Stir the vinegar with the salt and sugar, then toss the noodles with this mixture.
- Fill a shallow dish with warm water and soak a rice paper round in here until pliable.
- This will take roughly 45 seconds.
- Remove it from the water and sit it on a double thickness of paper towels, then add an eighth of your filling ingredients, so 3 shrimp halves with the cut side facing up, ¼ cup noodles, a few cilantro and mint leaves, 8 pieces of cucumber, an eighth of the lettuce, 6 strips of green onions and 10 of the mango pieces.
- Now it is time to close them, so fold the bottom of the rice paper over the filling then roll it up tightly to the halfway point. Add more mint and cilantro in the crease, then roll up until done.
- Put the finished summer roll on a paper towel lined plate and start making the next one.
- Repeat until you have made 8 summer rolls.
- Combine the dipping sauce ingredients to make the sauce.
- Serve the summer rolls either as they are or cut in half on the diagonal, along with the dipping sauce.
Feel free to adapt the ingredients, leaving out anything you do not like and replacing it with anything you want to add.
Ensure you read the recipe through before beginning and have all your ingredients ready before you begin to assemble the summer rolls.
Work fast and you can be assembling one which the rice paper for the next one is soaking - this is good practice if you are doubling or tripling the recipe because it saves time.
Fancy a different sauce? No problem, you can use chili-infused peanut oil or make a simple satay dipping sauce if you prefer. Even bottle hoisin sauce will worth with this recipe.
Some More Hot Content For You
- Eating Authentic Mexican Food in MexicoI think it’s fair to say Mexican food has to be one of the most misunderstood cuisines of all. People who aren’t familiar with it assume it’s all tortillas, beef and chilies, while those who eat at fast food outlets might believe those dishes are more authentic than they are. Eating authentic Mexican food in Mexico isn’t difficult but there are lots of tourist places you ought to avoid if you want to be eating the real deal. And then you have Tex-Mex, Cali-Mex and all the other hybrids and regional variations, so it’s hardly surprising knowing what is authentic Mexican food and what is not can be confusing! .....
- Dim SumDim sum, which translates to mean ‘to dot your heart’ refers to small dishes eaten as snacks. These can be baked, deep-fried, steamed or braised, and they are presented well and delicious too. Examples of dim sum include har gao, steamed shrimp dumplings in a rice flour pastry, char siu bao, which are roast pork-filled steamed buns, lor bak ko, which is turnip cake, and woo kok, which is shrimp with Chinese mushrooms. A lot of dim sum restaurants also offer congee porridge, soups, steamed green vegetables and roasted meats. The serving size is small and you usually get three or four pieces in one dish. Dim sum is eaten with a cup .....
- Easy Winkles RecipeWinkles are little black shellfish that look like snails. They may be enjoyed as part of a seafood platter or fruits de mer, or you can enjoy them as a snack by themselves, or with some bread and butter, as an easy winkles recipe appetizer. You can buy winkles either cooked or live but if you’re shopping for fresh ones (or picking your own) to make an easy winkles recipe, first you should check the smell. Good winkles smell slightly sweet and like the sea. They might move visibly. Live ones need to be rinsed in plenty of cold water before being soaked in salted water for half an hour before you boil them. Very Easy Winkles Recipe Ideas .....
- The Most Famous British StartersBritish food is considered by some non-Brits to be boring or stodgy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Great British starter recipes include such delights as prawn cocktail, brown Windsor soup, cheese and tomato tartlets, homemade pate and more. Learn more about famous British starters and you will be able to rustle up all manner of delicious fare. In Wales you might find Welsh rarebit on the menu, which is basically grilled cheese on toast, but beer and Worcestershire sauce are used in the traditional recipe. Scottish food varies as widely as Scotland itself does but Scottish soups like cock-a-leekie and Scotch broth usually go .....
- Deep-Fry Like a Chinese ChefAlthough stir-frying is more popular in Chinese cuisine than deep-frying, it is worth learning both. Discover how to deep-fry like a Chinese chef and it will open up many new possibilities of Chinese dishes you can prepare. You can either use a wok or a deep-fat fryer for deep-frying. If you are using a wok, slide the food in carefully, as you will not want spattering if you are going to professionally deep-fry like a Chinese chef. Add the ingredients in small amounts and do not crowd the wok, else you might get spillage or spattering, or the temperature might drop too fast. Most recipes will suggest that you heat to oil to about 365 degrees .....
- Simple Stuffed SquidsFeaturing a stuffing made with anchovies, parmesan, garlic, wine, parsley and breadcrumbs, this Greek inspired, simple stuffed squids recipe is hearty and tasty. You can see exactly what you need for this recipe and see how the filling is made in a skillet on the stove in stages. This is important because it gives the filling plenty of dimension. Stuff your squid then fry them in garlicky oil in the skillet. They will puff up on the stove and when they do it is time to add white wine and cover the skillet. Because this is a stovetop recipe you can watch the squid the whole time. It is also nice if you are using the oven to cook something .....
- Vintage 1970s Kitchen Ideas and Accessories1970s kitchen ideas are considered to be retro, and many people are choosing this style for their kitchens today. Retro is a style that can be difficult to determine; however, many designers consider the 1960s and 1970s to be the perfect retro era. Introducing Retro Vintage Kitchen Style Kitchens are the perfect place to use retro items, and you can enhance the room wonderfully using fewer accessories than you might think you need. It is not hard to find such pieces either, even though the seventies were 40 years ago. You can also get reproduction pieces in the iconic 70s design rather than vintage ones, depending what you prefer. Pick out .....
- Bone Broth Recipes and Bone Broth BenefitsBone broth is a slow-cooked soup made from animal bones which are filled with magnesium and calcium, along with collagen. This beverage is a great addition to any diet, especially if you have skin problems, immunity issues or digestive trouble, because it can help with those. There has been a lot of talk lately about how to make bone broth recipes, with people wondering not only how to get the ingredients and make it, but also why it is so popular and what nutrients it includes. Combined with apple cider vinegar (to coax the minerals out of the bones) and seasonings or vegetables, bones make a tasty, nutritious broth which will keep for .....
- AppetizersDiscover Amazing Appetizers The best starter recipes are the ones you feel would be most suitable for the occasion, plus those appetizers which go nicely before your chosen main course. Perhaps you want to make a hot meat starter recipe, a delicately flavored fish starter or something with eggs, cheese or even fruit. We have a lot of different starter recipes for you to browse and choose from, as well as plenty of handy starter making tips. You can make starters for two people to enjoy over a cozy dinner or lots of different snacks for a buffet or a big party. You will find plenty of choice here, when it comes to snacks and appetizers .....
- Different Kinds of Starter RecipesThere are many different kinds of starter recipes, ranging from basic two or three ingredient combinations which you can put together in one minute flat, to the more elaborate and gourmet style dishes which are a mixture of many ingredients and take a long time to create. There are different dishes for different occasions and you should always match the type of food you serve with the people who are going to be eating it and the type of occasion itself. Old Favorites and Classic Starters There is nothing wrong with sticking to tried and tested recipes if you aren’t sure what to make. There are many kinds of starter recipes to choose .....