*These light and healthy Vietnamese-influenced summer rolls are filled with cooked shrimp, rice noodles, and plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables for flavor and crunch. Once your ingredients are prepped, the rolling fun begins as sheets of rice paper are softened in water and used for the wrappers. Dipped in a spicy peanut sauce, these rolls are a great hot-weather appetizer or light lunch.
What to buy: We like to use natural peanut butter in this recipe. If you use the conventional kind, omit the sugar called for in the sauce. Look for hoisin sauce and chile-garlic paste in the Asian section of your supermarket. For the chile paste, we prefer the one made by Huy Fong Foods (with the rooster on the jar!). The rice stick noodles and rice paper wrappers can be found in most Asian grocery stores. For the wrappers, we like the Red Rose brand.
Game plan: Be sure to have all your ingredients ready and easily accessible when you start to roll, and give yourself plenty of time (and counter space) to make these. Also be sure to have a few extra rice paper wrappers on hand—it may take a few tries before you’re rolling like a pro.
Store the summer rolls in a dish or plastic container that’s roomy enough to hold them without their touching. Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of the container to keep the rolls moist. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
You can make the peanut sauce a day ahead. Just keep it refrigerated in a covered container. Let it sit for a bit at room temperature before serving.
For the summer rolls:
Beverage pairing: Thomas Fogarty Monterey Gewürztraminer, California. Gewürztraminers can be great food wines, as long as they’re not too heavily perfumed and floral. That’s why it can be good to go with a new-world Gewürz over an Alsatian. This wine from California’s Central Coast has beautiful flavors of ginger, white flowers, and lychee that make a nice foil for these toothsome summer rolls.