Fresh Spring Rolls With Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

spring rollsIf you haven't felt like eating too much during the recent 100-degree-plus heat wave that's passing over much of the country, this idea might get you back into it. Fresh spring rolls with sweet chili dipping sauce are a light, refreshing, and, most important, delicious way to get some calories on those hot, HOT summer days. Similar to what you'd find on the menu at a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant, this cold dish is made with shrimp or tofu, cellophane noodles, fresh mint and cilantro, and lime all wrapped in rice paper. I make this particular version a lot because the sweet chili dipping sauce has a little kick to it -- but not too much heat. After all, we're trying to keep it cool around here, right?

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Spring Rolls With Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce adapted from Tyler Florence

For rolls:

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces Vietnamese cellophane noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chili, cut into circles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 20 (8-inch) round rice paper wrappers
  • 20 cooked medium shrimp, tails off, halved lengthwise OR 1 package of extra firm tofu cut into long strips
  • 40 mint leaves

Instructions

1. Put the cellophane noodles, vegetables, cilantro, and peanuts (if using) in a bowl. Toss with lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl, dilute the sugar in 3 cups of hot water and give it a stir. Dip a rice paper spring roll wrapper in the hot water for 10 seconds then place on a damp towel. Arrange 1/20th of noodle mixture on wrapper. Carefully fold the bottom of the wrapper up to cover the filling. Fold in the left and right sides, then tuck and roll it over once. Lay 2 pieces of shrimp on top, then tuck and roll it over again. Lay 2 mint leaves on top, then tuck and roll it over to close the whole thing up like a tight cigar.

3. Arrange the finished rolls on a platter and cover with a damp towel.

 

For dipping sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal
  • 2 tablespoons grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons grated daikon radish (optional)

Instructions

1. Puree the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, hot water, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and chili paste in blender until combined.

2. Pour into a serving bowl. Add the grated carrot and radish and mix.

 

Image via Yu + Mi/Flickr

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