Shrimp summer rolls with spicy peanut-soy dipping sauce

Planning ahead and organizing all ingredients is essential for this fresh, healthy platter of summer rolls! Misé en place, prepping each element and having it in its place, will help for working quickly with the rice paper sheets. This is a crowd pleaser, and a great alternative to the typical mozzarella sticks and buffalo wings for game day. Fill them with whatever ingredients you like. I love the creamy avocado with the crunch of raw cucumber and carrot, then a little extra protein with the shrimp. A bit time consuming to roll, but seriously satisfying in both aesthetics and taste. Makes about 20 rolls.
1Xlarge cucumber, sliced into batons
5Xcarrots, peeled and sliced into batons
2Xripe avocados, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
1Xbunch of fresh cilantro, destemmed
2Xlimes, halved
4OZSrice noodles, cooked according to package instructions, room temperature
5OZSrice paper, spring roll skins (about 20-22, depending on your use of ingredients)
3TBSPNSsesame seeds
20Xnori strips, optional
1LBScooked shrimp, cleaned, shells removed

  1. Set the cucumber, carrot, avocado slices, cilantro leaves, limes, and rice noodles beside a clean surface for filling the summer rolls. If worried about sticking to the counter, a clean damp kitchen towel is a great alternative surface for rolling the rice paper.
  2. Fill a round, shallow dish or cake pan with hot water and set beside the rolling station.
  3. One a time, set the rice paper in the hot water, about 15 seconds, carefully remove and lay flat on the clean surface to begin filling. The rice paper should be soft, pliable, but not falling apart.
  4. Think of the technique like filling and rolling a wrap or burrito. Working quickly, begin to layer in the ingredients starting about a quarter up from the bottom edge of the rice paper: 2-3 shrimp per roll, a few cilantro leaves, one nori strip, rice noodles, cucumber, carrot, avocado, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and a little squeeze of lime juice.
  5. Fold the bottom edge of rice paper overtop of the layered ingredients, fold in the sides, and gently roll the entire mixture from the bottom up. Place a little pressure on the side and top as you roll to ensure that the ingredients stay compact and tight within the rice paper sheet. 
  6. Repeat this process, varying the ingredients as you see fit, with the remaining wrappers and fillings until there is nothing left! 
  7. Place them on a serving platter with a little space between them to prevent sticking together, and serve with a spicy peanut-soy dipping sauce. Two other great sauces are a chili-lime fish sauce with scallion, and a traditional sesame soy sauce.

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