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Shrimp Summer Rolls

By Andrew Zimmern

Similar knives
used in this recipe:

Classic Blonde Master Utility knife Classic Blonde Master Utility knife

For the Nuoc Cham:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce, or more to taste
  • Juice of 2 limes, or to taste
  • 1 fresh red chile, minced (use a hot one!)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted and ground
  • 3 tablespoons scallions, minced

For the Summer Rolls:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, in chiffonade
  • 1/2 bunch mint, in chiffonade
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 8 ounces fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 tablespoons peanuts, toasted and ground
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 2 cups rice stick noodles, cooked and cooled
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp, cut in half lengthwise
  • Fresh garlic chives, cut an inch longer than the width of your final rolls
  • 8-inch Banh Trang rice paper sheets

Instructions:

First, make the dipping sauce:

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small pan, cool.
  2. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, chiles, ground sesame seeds and scallions. Reserve.

Next, prepare all of your spring roll stuffings:

  1. Julienne the lettuce.
  2. Pull leaves from mint and cilantro.
  3. Wash and dry the bean sprouts.
  4. Toast and grind the peanuts.
  5. Julienne the cucumber and carrots.
  6. Cook the rice stick noodle according to the directions on the package.
  7. Cut the shrimp in half lengthwise.
  8. Place all of the fillings on a tray, so it’s easy to grab them while you make your spring rolls.

Prepare rice paper sheets:

  1. Wet a paper towel and place on the counter or cutting board.
  2. Place one rice paper sheet on top of the wet paper towel.
  3. Top with another wet paper towel, and continue alternating paper towels and remaining rice paper sheets until you have a big stack in front of you. (Alternatively, you can work one at a time, allowing each rice paper to sit in warm water until soft.)

Assemble the rolls:

  1.  Place refreshed rice paper on a work surface covered with a damp towel in front of you. 
  2. Place a small portion of noodles on the bottom third of the sheet, along with lettuce, herbs, a pinch of ground peanuts, a scattering of bean sprouts, a couple pieces of julienned carrot and cucumber.
  3. Roll, burrito style, top to bottom, folding in the sides of the rice paper as you roll.
  4. Add the halved shrimp cut side down, after you’ve made the first rolling motion so when they are served you can see them through the translucent skins. Add a few chives at this point (they should be cut so they extend over the edges). Keep rolling the wrapper in a cylinder until it is sealed.
  5. Serve with the dipping sauce.