1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 oz. dried Maifun (rice noodle sticks)
1 bunch (1 cup) fresh Thai or Sweet basil leaves
1 bunch (1 cup) fresh cilantro leaves
1 bunch (1 cup) fresh mint leaves
3 scallions, cut thinly along the bias
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded (or at least the soft center removed with a spoon) & julienned
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices (optional)
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into slices & sprinkled with a squeeze of lime juice to keep them from turning brown (oxidizing)
1 small head of red-leaf or butterhead lettuce
1 12-oz. package dried Vietnamese rice paper/spring roll wrappers (Banh Trang)
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 tsp. sweet bean paste (or 2 tsp. hoisin sauce)
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp. lime juice (1 lime)
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 1/4 tsp. Sriracha (or any other chile garlic sauce)
1 garlic clove, put through a garlic press or grated
Vietnamese Dipping Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham):
1 cup very warm water
4 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
1/3 cup fish sauce
1 serrano chili, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly shredded carrot (optional)
1. Prepare the peanut sauce by mixing all the ingredients into a medium bowl until well-blended. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Prepare the Vietnamese dipping fish sauce by mixing all ingredients into a bowl. Cover & set aside.
3. Bring a medium stock pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until the shrimp has just turned pink. Immediately remove the shrimp to a colander or strainer and rinse with cool tap water to stop the cooking. Shake well, blot dry. Place the shrimp on a chopping board and slice in half, lengthwise. Place the halved shrimp in a bowl or Ziploc-type container, cover and refrigerate.
4. In the meantime, place the Maifun (rice noodle sticks) into a bowl and cover with very hot water. Let soak for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Drain well in a sieve/colander. Remove to a chopping board and cut into 2" lengths. Set aside.
5. Wash and prep the herbs, veggies and greens, then place them in separate bowls or Ziploc-type containers
Basil, Cilantro & Mint: use the leaves only (no stems)
Hothouse Cucumber: cut the ends off, then slice the cucumber in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out/remove the soft seeds in the middle, then cut into 2" lengths and julienne.
Lettuce: Whether using red leaf or butterhead lettuce, I like to strip the tender leafy parts off of the central stem before adding them to the summer rolls.
ASSEMBLING THE ROLLS:
1. Wet a clean kitchen towel and place over a large chopping board or on the kitchen counter.
2. Pour 1-2" hot tap water into a casserole, round pie dish, or whatever's large enough to fit a round of the spring roll wrapper.
3. Have all the containers with the stuffing ingredients (shrimp, herbs, scallions, avocado, cucumbers, and maifun) set out on the counter and ready to go.
4. Place one of the rice paper wrappers into the warm water and let it soak 15-30 seconds until pliable (not longer). Gently remove to the damp kitchen towel.
5. Place 5 shrimp halved (attractive side down) in a single row down the middle of the wrapper. Top with about 2-3 tbsp. of the maifun, then a few of the julienned cucumber, basil leaves, cilantro leaves, scallions, mint, and jalapeño slices (optional). Add 2-3 avocado slices and some lettuce leaves.
6. Gently fold the bottom and top halves of the wrapper over the filling, then fold the right side of the wrapper over the filling, and start rolling to the left (same concept as making a burrito). Remove to a serving platter. You can slice the rolls in half for a more attractive presentation. Serve with the two dipping sauces on the side.
NOTE: If serving a bunch of these rolls on a serving platter, make sure they're not too close together cuz if they stick, you'll have a heck of a time getting them apart. Summer rolls can be made ahead of time about 2 hours - just make sure to cover them well with plastic wrap so they don't dry out. They will keep overnight in the frig, but the fresher the better.