Mmmm…rolls. Not the kind you serve with turkey at Thanksgiving, but the Asian style wrap kind. The kind stuffed with tons of wonderful goodies. From ground pork to shrimp to veggies only. I’m talking about egg rolls, spring rolls, lumpia, summer rolls, salad rolls. Whatever you want to call it, I love them. You can get a variety of them in just about any Asian restaurant and I’ve even seen them popping up on many traditional American restaurant menus. Most of the time they are fried. Now don’t get me wrong, they are delicious fried, but a recent trip to a Thai restaurant inspired me to try the non-fried version at home. They are cool and crisp and stuffed with a tangy mixture of shrimp, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, green onions and sweet Thai chili sauce.
Summer rolls, as they are most often called, include various kinds of veggies and usually shrimp all wrapped up in rice paper. Rice paper can be a little hard to work with because it is so fragile. So although this recipe makes about 10 rolls you will want to have a few extra rice paper wraps in case one rips. You can pick some up at your local Asian market.
I love the nutty flavor that sesame seeds add to this dish. I chose to use black sesame seeds because I loved the color of the black with the pink prawns. If you can’t find them feel free to substitute regular white sesame seeds that you can find in just about any grocery store.
Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Carefully add prawns to the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Remove and place in a strainer. Run cold water over them until they are cool.
In a bowl whisk together garlic, rice vinegar, sweet Thai chili sauce, sesame seeds and cilantro. Stir in carrots, cucumbers, green onions and chilled shrimp. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Set up a work station with the chilled mixture, a wide bowl or pie dish with water in it to soak the rice paper, a flat surface to roll the rolls and a dish to store them in. Soak 1 piece of rice paper in the water for about 30 seconds or until it becomes soft and pliable. Carefully lay the wet wrapper on a flat surface. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling on the wrapper about 1 inch from the side closest to you. Working away from you, carefully fold the wrapper over the mixture. Next fold in both sides and then continue rolling away from you to seal. Place finished roll seam side down in the dish you are storing them in. Repeat with remaining filling and wraps.
Cut each roll in half. Serve
These make a great appetizer for summer parties. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. Our personal favorite? Peanut sauce. Enjoy!