Thursday, June 03, 2010


These summer rolls don't have a story. I don't have any cute analogies or jokes for today. It's late and I'm rushing to get this posted since we have to leave our house at the butt crack of dawn to head home to a big event at E's alma mater. There will be a dinner followed by a roast (the vaguely inappropriate joke telling kind of roast, not the large slab o' beef kind of roast) run by a bunch of engineers and Germans. Can you think of anything less funny? Cause I can't, and I've been thinking about it for weeks.

Alas, I attempted to make Mark's Summer Rolls for dinner tonight, but our hack little market up the road had no rice paper. I had some nori, so I had to go with that instead! Paired with the basil dipping sauce (to which I added ginger and sesame oil) this was the perfect homage to herbs ala IHCC. They were tasty enough for me to forgive myself for the pathetic look of these rolls. I'm not a sushi chef, and trust me, rolling that nori takes practice! If you make these, use rice paper; it is much more forgiving! These rolls are so full of fresh flavors, and I can see myself making a bunch of different versions this summer.

Summer Rolls with Basil Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian pages 743 and 777

For the rolls:
8 sheets of rice paper
4 oz. bundle of thin rice noodles
2 scallions, sliced lengthwise
1/2 a red pepper, julienned
1/2 c. each fresh mint leaves and basil leaves, julienned
1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
salt and pepper
sesame oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle shrimp with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes or until ink. Remove from oven and set aside. 

Pour boiling water over noodles in a shallow dish. Let sit for 8 minutes until tender and drain. Set aside.

Lay a damp towel on your work area. Fill another shallow bowl with hot water. Dip a sheet of rice paper into the water until it softens, just a few seconds, and lay on the towel. On the bottom third of the rice paper, spread 1/8 of each of the ingredients (noodles, herbs, peppers, and shrimp), fold in the bottom edge and both sides and roll tightly. Repeat for remaining papers and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

For the sauce:
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbls. soy sauce
2 Tbls. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbls. sugar
1/4 c. fresh basil, julienned
1 tsp. frech grated giner
3 Tbls. sesame oil

Whisk all ingredients to combine. If you want this thicker, whisk all ingredients except the sesame oil. Add oil slowly in a very thin stream while whisking until emulsified. You may need to increase the amount of oil, too!

Sounds like a lot of work, I know, but it was pretty simple actually! 
And nothin' says lovin' like a clean plate.

Don't forget to head over to I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what everyone else whipped up this week!


Kim said...

You always pick the coolest recipes! I love these and I think they turned out great. I bet the addition of the mint and basil really brightened up the flavors.

Claudia said...

And, I was just looking for a good recipe for summer rolls, and these sound great.

I noticed you're reading Garlic and Sapphires. I love all Reichl's books. She can be just hilarious. It's funny how some people come across better on TV and some in print. Bittman's better on video and she seems to communicate better in her books. Just my opinion, of course.

The Burmese Mom said...

These summer rolls sound and look wonderful! I would love to have some today!

Tiff said...

These look great! I love summer rolls and I am always a fan of trying mint in recipes.

Carla and Michael said...

These may not be made with the rice paper, but I still think they look great.I would think the nori would be an added flavor punch.

Giovanna said...

I actually think the nori looks wonderful with the colors of the summer roll. Great recipe : )

Joanne said...

I hope you had fun at the roast! German engineers might be funnier than you'd think...

I love the sound of that basil dipping sauce!

Ty'sMommy said...

Basil dipping sauce. Basil. Dipping. Sauce.
Ohmigosh those three words are just music to my ears!! I am really going to have to try this! Thanks for sharing it!

Megan said...

Spring rolls popping up and I think I need to make some. Yours look great!

Debinhawaii said...

I love summer rolls and what a great save using the nori when you couldn't find rice paper. I am sure they were delicious and they are very Asian-fusion! ;-)