Easy Breezy Summer Rolls

Dear Food Diary:
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no expert in the kitchen. I can do certain “signature” dishes well, but I don’t cook much, I live in a studio apartment, so space is very limited and I hate cleaning up, although cooking can be fun. So when I say these are easy, trust me, it’s really easy, if chubby can do it, anyone can.
I learned to make these easy summer rolls from a friend, and after trying it for the first time, I’m glad to report, this chubby isn’t going to pay $2.75 for each of these suckers at a vietnamese restaurant anymore. I brought all the ingredients to work, and made it for lunch, quick, healthy and delicious, say goodbye to boring sandwiches.

• Rice wrappers (spring roll skin, find it at any asian or specialty market, they come in a variety of sizes, small and medium will do, not the large ones, unless ur into burrito sized rolls)
• Lettuce • Fresh Shrimp (not peeled) •Cucumber (strips) • Basil • Mint • Cilantro • Avocado (optional)

1. Cook the fresh shrimp in a chicken stock, with scallions and ginger. I don’t like the pre-peeled shrimp since you lose all the flavor. Once cooked, take them out of the water, and let them cool. Peel and cut into half. Clean them as necessary.
2. Cut your cucumbers and avocado into strips, cut big pieces of lettuce, and the herbs could be cut by hand as your building the rolls.
3. Everything ready to go, it’s basically just a assemble process, and the amount of herbs its personal preference. If you don’t have or don’t like avocado, you could leave them out, it gives it a nice creamy texture which I love having.
Let the roll making begin:
1. Soak the rice wraps in bowl of hot water for about 10 seconds (depending on the temp of your water), soak them individually, do them one at a time, they stick together easily. They should be soft and foldable.
2. Put 4 half pieces of shrimp face down (makes a nicer presentation when the pink/salmon color shows thru)
2. Load up the lettuce, cucumber, avocado and herbs, there’s no special order, just be sure everything is in it, you can break up the herbs and sprinkle all over, so you get it in every bite.
Once it’s all in, just fold the bottom half first.
2. Continue folding the 2 sides, and make sure you tuck everything tightly in, then roll everything upward until you have no wrap left. The wrap is pretty stretchable and easy to use, just be gentle so it doesn’t break, and do it on a non sticky surface.
And voila! here’s the final product. (see why it’s prettier to have the shrimp face down right?)
For the dipping sauce:
• Peanut Butter • Any Hot Sauce you like • Hoisin Sauce (if not, use honey) • Couple drops of Sesame Oil • Lime juice (to make it less thick, sweet and add a fresh kick, you can also use water)
Mix everything and squeeze some fresh lime juice. You can do it to taste. I like mine extra spicy. Note: If I bring it to work the next day, I usually do the sauce the night before and squeeze the lime the next day, before eating. I like peanut pieces in my sauce, so I use the chunky ones. But sprinkling some on top would be great as well.
And that’s it folks! Dip and bite… yuuummmmy! Super fresh, it’s like a farmers market in every bite.
P.S. Chubby’s RATING: