Rock the Roll! Summer Rolls & Peanut Dipping Sauce!
Baby it’s HOT outside! We’ve been having some serious hot and humid weather in NY and, as I’ve said several times and will likely repeat over the life of this blog, I am NOT a fan of high heat and humidity. I get ornery! But a gal’s gotta eat – and eat well!
Recently, I was invited to create a hands-on cooking demonstration presentation for the Harrison Public Library in Harrison NY, by the incredible Giovanna Fiorino. This is my third such invitation. We always have a good time. Great people show up and it becomes very friendly very fast. My mom is always there throwing in mom advice from the front and is a very able assistant as needed, feeling compelled to clean up as I go – haha!
The challenge was to create something to fit their summer “Rock & Roll” theme. Hmmm… I had my delectably delicious Brigadeiros recipe to be the “rock” (although only “rock” in shape). What can be the roll… hmmmmm. I was stumped until I thought of one of my favs, Summer Rolls. Not only are they sooooo delicious with that incredible peanut dipping sauce, but they require not a scrap of cooking. Perfect for this presentation where there is no kitchen AND perfect for the weather we’ve been having, the aforementioned hot and humid hell-like temps.
I hadn’t made them before so there was going to be a bit of play. I’m talking about those rice paper wrappers. I did my research, followed the package directions, and realized they all required me to move faster than I wanted to. Preparing food as a race against time is not for my kitchen… that’s for food game shows! As you’ll see above, the best way is to give it a quick saturation then, as the water is making it’s way fully through the wrapper, place your fillings and roll baby, roll! YEAH! Creating the peanut dipping sauce was pure joy… playing with the ingredients so it’s not overly peanut-y and has a great balance. The only problem is I’m a little obsessed with it now.
I was ready. Time for the presentation! We had a full house. I had the tables arranged as 2 large work spaces so everyone could pass around the items as they built their rolls. I did one demonstration and set them to task. Not only did they have a great time but they really liked them. Woo hoo! They made them until I ran out of wrappers. It made me so happy.
The best part about making these rolls is they can be anything you want. Use chicken, steak, tofu! Use whatever veggies you want! And don’t make them all. Prep everything and let everyone make their own. Not only will it be fun, but it will inspire conversation. Nothing is better than that!
And a side note: the peanut dipping sauce is EXACTLY what you need to create your own cold sesame noodles. Make rice noodles according to package directions and toss with the peanut sauce! OK – you can also add some thinly sliced cucumbers marinated in rice vinegar with a little shaved ginger too. Yum!
- • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- • 2 tsp soy sauce
- • 3 cloves garlic, minced
- • 1 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
- • 3-4 tbsp warm water
- • 15 spring roll rice paper wrappers
- • 1 cup carrots, shredded
- • 1 hothouse cucumber, julienned
- • 1 red pepper, julienned
- • 1 yellow pepper, julienned
- • 2 cups red cabbage, chopped
- • 15 snow peas
- • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
- • 1 head bibb or leafy lettuce
- • 1 lb medium shrimp, cleaned & cooked
- • 1 lime, quartered
- • 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
- Prepare your veggies and shrimp so they’re ready to use and set aside.
- Add peanut dipping sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
- Add warm water to a pan big enough to fit the rice paper wrappers. Dip wrapper into the water, saturate well, and remove to a flat surface.
- Fill the bottom one third of the wrapper with a little of each of the vegetables. Place a piece of lettuce and top with 4 pieces of shrimp. Squeeze lime juice over the top and begin rolling tightly from the bottom, tucking in edges. Repeat with other wrappers.
- Plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.