The main content

Summer Rolls


For the Dipper Sauce:

  • About 1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (not unsweetened)

  • About 1/4 cup hot or simmering water

  • About 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 1 1-inch piece ginger root, grated

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy or Tamari

  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic paste (I like the one with the rooster on the label)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • About 1 pound rotisserie chicken, skinned and bones removed or About 1 pound cooked medium to large shrimp (whatever is available at good price at fish counter for cooked shrimp)

  • 1/4 pound vermicelli or rice vermicelli

  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, cut into matchsticks

  • 2 Fresno chili peppers, seeded and cut into matchsticks, lengthwise

  • 1 large bunch scallions, whites and greens, trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths then into matchsticks lengthwise

  • 1 cup (a couple of handfuls) Mung bean sprouts

  • 1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed

  • 1 cup Thai or regular basil, loosely packed

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed

  • 1 small head Bibb lettuce

  • 16 round rice paper wrappers


To make the dipping sauce, thin the peanut butter in a mixing bowl with some hot or simmering water then whisk in the Hoisin, lime juice, grated ginger, soy sauce, chili paste and sesame oil; taste to adjust. For sweeter sauce, add a little light brown sugar or agave. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. 

Pull chicken meat into bite-size pieces. If using shrimp, remove tails and halve them lengthwise along deveined line splitting each shrimp in two. 

Salt water, cook semolina-based pasta 4-5 minutes (cook rice pasta 2-3 minutes), to al dente. Cool under cold running water and dry well. Arrange in a long bundle on a cutting board and halve noodles across into 6-inch lengths. 

Begin to arrange all of the filling ingredients around a work surface to assemble rolls: Cucumber, chilies, scallions, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro and lettuce. 

Warm wrappers one at a time in hot water for 15 seconds or so then place on a clean, light-weight kitchen towel. Arrange about 1/4 cup chicken or 3-4 sliced shrimp across the center of each wrapper then top with a small bundle of noodles and fillings, with all of them facing same direction, horizontally. Wrap and roll the summer rolls. Rolls can be wrapped with one open end or wrapped like enchiladas and halved on a bias to expose the filling. 

Serve with dipping sauce in ramekins alongside.