Maizy Boosin, winner of Food Network’s Chopped Junior, likes this recipe for shrimp summer rolls because it shows that “cooking can be creative, and everyone can bring their own taste and style to it.” At her house, she sets up a “summer roll bar,” where everyone picks their desired fillings, and she rolls them up. “It’s a great dish for adults and kids,” Maizy says.
- ½ box vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp (you can devein them yourself, but it takes less time to buy the pre-cleaned ones)
- 1 bell pepper (color of your choice)
- 1 mango
- 1 cucumber
- 1 bag bean sprouts
- 1 package rice paper wrappers
- Dipping sauce of your choice
Fill a pot with water and place it over high heat. When the water boils, add the vermicelli noodles and boil 3 to 5 minutes or until they are fully cooked. Drain them, rinse with cold water, toss with the sesame oil and soy sauce, and place in a bowl until needed.
Pour olive oil into a skillet or wok over medium heat. After the oil is hot (or you can feel the heat from 2 inches away), add the shrimp and season with salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. If you have any uncertainty about the shrimp being fully cooked, take one out of the pan and cut it in half.
If it is still a shade of translucent pink, the shrimp need more time, but if it is a pale, opaque pink, the shrimp are done. Once the shrimp are cooked, take them out of the pan and place them in a bowl until needed.
Thinly slice the bell pepper, and cut both the mango and the cucumber into thin spears. For the cucumber, make sure to scoop out the seeds, as they add too much moisture. Open the bag of bean sprouts and pour them onto a plate, along with the other vegetables and the mango.
Now you are almost ready to assemble the summer rolls. For this next step, you can use whatever dish you want, but I like to use a glass pie dish. Fill your dish with about 1½ inches of warm water. Soak one sheet of rice paper in warm water until it becomes pliable. Remove the rice paper wrapper from the water and place on a cutting board. Now comes the fun part! Fill the wrapper with whatever fixings you would like, making sure to line all the fillings up right in the middle of the wrapper. To finish your summer roll, fold in the sides and the top toward the center, then roll like you would a burrito.
You can make or buy any type of dipping sauce that sounds good to you. I like to use Thai peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce. Several brands make gluten-free versions of these.
Now that you know how to make summer rolls, here are some of my personal favorite combinations:
- Mango, shrimp, lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, cucumber, noodles
- Sesame seeds, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, noodles
- Grilled chicken, cucumber, peppers, noodles
- Lettuce, cucumber, mint, noodles, bean sprouts
- Shrimp, noodles, cucumber, mint, sesame seeds
Nutrition Analysis: 140 cal, 4.5 g fat, 10 mg chol, 140 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 4 g protein.