You’ve probably eaten Vietnamese summer rolls and found them both delicious and exotic. With all those wonderful raw vegetables in season, and no cooking necessary, why not make them yourself?
The only special item you’ll need is rice paper, which you can get at an Asian market or large supermarket. You might need a little practice in soaking the rice paper the right amount so it rolls and doesn’t tear. This video shows you how. And I learned a new trick — folding the damp rice paper in half so that it makes a stronger roll that will not split or break.
In this video the rolls are made with Boston lettuce, red peppers, zucchini, and carrots. But the nice thing about summer rolls is you can use anything you choose: cilantro, mint, basil or other herbs, sprouts, thin rice noodles, or what have you. What could be easier?
And then add your favorite dipping sauce and you’re ready to go. Buy or make Nam Pla or Peanut Sauce, or mix up some soy sauce, sesame oil, and any other Asian flavor you favor.
What a great substitute for an ordinary salad.
Photo credit: Mark H. Ambinder