This week I made some delicious Pad Thai. These Vietnamese Summer Rolls came along as a nice starter.
The great thing about summer rolls is they can be made plant-perfect or with a sliced poached shrimp hidden inside. The wrappers for these also fit nicely into your Killer Food program since they are made with brown rice paper and brown rice noodles.
I know that cooking in the kitchen (even in the fall) can heat things up quickly, and you may want something that is refreshing. I started making summer rolls back when I was the Executive Chef of The Park Lake Grill in Okemos, MI. They were trendy back then, didn’t make sense on my menu, but I thought I was hip in having them. The good news is I never lost my love for the clean flavors and flexibility they offer.
You can find brown rice noodles and wrappers in the Asian section of most grocery stores. If you cannot take a look here.
You will make these Vietnamese summer rolls easily with a little practice. Fill them with any vegetables you like,slice them thin, and even add a little shrimp or poached chicken on occasion.
- 1 box brown rice noodles
- 1 package brown rice paper wrappers
- 1 cucumber cut into 1/8 inch thick sticks
- 1 carrot shaved with a peeler or cut into 1/8 inch thick sticks
- 1 avocado sliced thin
- 1/2 cup daikon microgreens or shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 large bowl of warm water
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (unsweetened)
- Follow the directions on the box for your brown rice noodles, rinse them and soak them in water with two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar.
- Gently soak your brown rice paper in warm water until pliable but not flimsy.***
- Drain a small handful of brown rice noodles and add them parallel to the bottom of your cutting board towards the bottom 1/3 of the wrapper. Similar to making an egg roll.
- Add the rest of your ingredients as desired stacked on top of the brown rice noodles.
- With a gentle hand lift the bottom edge of the brown rice paper to begin rolling the summer rolls.
- Tuck the vegetables in as you roll pulling the rice paper tight. This allows the rolls to stay together when being trimmed and eaten.
- For presentation either trim the ends or slice in half.
- Place on a platter for service.
The key to rolling great summer rolls is not to over soak the rice paper. It should be a little stiff when you lay it down on your dry cutting board. The brown rice paper will continue to soften as you build your summer rolls.
I also do NOT roll them like burritos. I leave the ends open and either trim them for presentation or leave them wild and free exposing what is inside.
These can be served with sriracha or homemade sweet chile dipping sauce.
A little update from one of the best Chefs at the Culinary Institute of America:
“Michael Pardus If you’re making more than 2 or 3 rolls, it’s much more efficient to do this: Take a stack of clean, cloth kitchen towels – make sure they’re stacked neatly one on top of the otherwith edges lined up. Soak the entire stack f towels by submerging in warm water. Wring them out of excess water – the whole stack, again, keeping towels aligned. Lay damp towels on a counter top or clean cutting board. Place a dry rice paper in between each towel. In the time it takes to set up the rest of your ingredients, the rice papers with absorb enough moisture from the towels to become pliable, they will already be flat and even on the surface, and you’ll be able to work more efficiently – moving from one roll to the next by peeling away the next towel instead of the “dip and oak: method, which interrupts the work flow. Have fun.”
[dropshadowbox align="center" effect="lifted-both" width="450px" height="" background_color="#ffffff" border_width="1" border_color="#dddddd" ]Diving into different ethnic cuisines is a fun way to expand your Killer Food tool Box. Question: What are some of your favorite ethnic foods I can help you transform?[/dropshadowbox]