Soft and sumptuous, summer rolls are just the thing when the heat is on outside and you’re making dinner inside. No need to turn on the stove, you just need hot tap water to soften the wrappers and the noodles for the filling and you’re ready to go. Mango, cucumber, cilantro and mint give this vegetarian version a refreshing, light taste. You can add cold, cooked shrimp if you want to make it more of a meal.Makes 10 rolls
3 oz vermicelli rice-stick noodles*
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
10 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds
60 fresh cilantro leaves
60 fresh mint leaves
2 mangos, peeled, seeded and cut into matchsticks
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled, cored, and cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, cut thinly on the diagonal
1 cup carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
Thai Spicy Dipping Sauce (page xx)
When you are preparing to make the rolls, in a large bowl soak the noodles in hot water to cover 15 minutes, or until softened and pliable.
Drain the noodles in a colander, then rinse under cold running water and drain well again. In a large bowl, mix together the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and mix. Add the noodles and toss to coat.
Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Soak 1 rice paper round in hot water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Carefully transfer to paper towels.
Arrange 6 mango sticks, 3 cilantro leaves, 3 mint leaves, 6 cucumber sticks across the bottom third (part nearest you) of soaked rice paper. Spread 1/4 cup noodles on top and sprinkle some of the green onion and carrot on top of noodles. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling and begin rolling up tightly, stopping at halfway point. Arrange 3 more mint leaves and 3 more cilantro leaves along crease, then fold in ends and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll, seam side down, to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Make 9 more rolls in same manner and serve, whole or halved diagonally, with dipping sauce.
Make-Ahead: Summer rolls can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered with lightly dampened paper towels and then with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce
Start to finish: 40 minutes
Hands on time: 10 minutes
This hot sauce is easy to make and nice to have in the refrigerator to add zing to anything from white rice to grilled fish.
4 Serrano chiles (about 2 inches long), finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved. Let the dipping sauce sit for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
Make-ahead: This sauce can be made a week ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.