Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summertime Rolls with a Peanut Dipping Sauce

Are you in the mood for something fresh, exciting and flavorful?  If so, you are in luck :)  I made these summertime {historically spring} rolls last night and they turned out excellent!  Perfect dinner for the summer - you don't need the oven and you get to use all the fresh produce from the farmers market or garden! 

I majorly heart spring rolls.  They are definitely my favorite thing to order at any type of Asian restaurant.  When Chris and I were traveling all through SE Asia, I think I hit a world record number of spring rolls consumed by one person. It was relieving to bite into fresh, crunchy spring rolls after being out in the excessive heat of SE Asia.  I believe I had spring rolls with every meal!

Me being cheesy w/ my spring roll addiction.  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

These summertime rolls are stuffed with a plethora of summer produce: crunchy iceberg lettuce, green onion, grated carrots, crisp cucumbers and sweet red peppers.  Then they are topped off with fragrant fresh basil and cilantro... which is a terrific combination of herbs for this type of dish.

Did I mention they also have shrimp?  This time I sauteed the shrimp in a thai chili sauce, which really ties all of the ingredients together.  The best part of the spring rolls, other than the explosion of freshness in your mouth, is a delicious peanut dipping sauce.  (The peanut sauce is so good that I actually used it to dip cucumbers and baby carrots in the next day, and I think it can be easily turned into a salad dressing).  This peanut sauce is sooo good and tastes great with these spring rolls.  My advice - double dip :)

makes 12 rolls

For the Summertime Rolls -

12 spring roll wrappers (plan on having a few extra in case a couple break)
1/2 of a head of iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
1/2 of a sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 of a cucumber, sliced thinly, larger slices cut in half
3 or 4 stalks of green onion
1/2 lb of small uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp of thai chili sauce

For the Peanut Dipping Sauce -

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic


First make the peanut sauce.  I found the easiest way to do this is in a food processor.  (I will say this a hundred times, it is the most useful tool in the kitchen!) Process the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and minced garlic for about 10 seconds.  Put peanut sauce in a container and refrigerate while making the rest of the rolls - it tastes great cold. 

In a skillet, heat the peanut oil until hot.  Add shrimp and then add the thai chili sauce.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until shrimp are pink.  Set aside.

To assemble the spring rolls I laid out all the prepared vegetables on a large cutting board.  I used a second cutting board for assembling the rolls.  The tricky part is the spring roll wrappers.  To get them soft, fill a round, medium-sized saute pan with 1/2" of water.  Place wrapper in water for only 10 seconds, not any longer.  The wrapper will seem stiff, but will soften as you work with it.

To finish the spring rolls, I topped the ingredients in this order, but feel free to do it your own way: Lettuce, basil, cilantro, green onion, shredded carrots, cucumber, red pepper and lastly shrimp.  Then simply fold them up like a burrito.  The secret is to not fill them too much and wrap them as tighly as possible.  It's okay if it takes you a few times to get the hang of it, my first few tries were pretty interesting :)  Serve with chilled peanut sauce and enjoy!

This recipe is inspired by The Food Matters Project which focuses on whole food recipes by Mark Bittman.  This week the Food Matters Project was hosted by Alyssa at Everyday Maven.  Check out what other inspiring bloggers did here.


  1. These look delicious! I love how food can transport us back to fabulous trips. Nice job.

  2. I have become food lover after following your blog and believe me you’re just awesome in your and hope to see more you soon.

  3. This spring roll looks too delicious and juicy. I am a food lover and i always love trying the different taste and recipes. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. These are so lovely. My wife also make cakes for us and on orders as well for the past 5yrs. I would recommend your blog to her to get new ideas.
    Thanks :)

  5. I love your recipe jess. Keep posting :)