Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce. This is one dish I could eat every single day. It’s so fresh and light. In the doldrums of winter, we all need a little fresh, don’t we?
We made these rolls for this month’s Recipe ReDux theme:
Start Smoking in the New Year
The New Year is heating up with smoke and spiciness. From boldly flavored smoked salts to actual smoking techniques, subtly smoked food is on-trend. The same can be said for spice as we savor heat from harissa, sriracha and smoked paprika. Show us the healthy dish you’re heating up with smoke and/or spiciness.
We use sriracha on lots of things. Eggs, black beans, in many marinades – but probably my favorite use is in this spicy peanut dipping sauce for spring rolls. Adrian uses a heavy hand with the stuff, I use a lighter hand as I am more sensitive to hot & spicy foods. He also adds sriracha to the inside of the rolls for an extra kick.
We always make our own peanut sauce because it’s so easy. Yes, there’s a list of ingredients, but most of them you already have on hand. And we cannot find a store bought sauce that comes any close to our own. This peanut sauce is also perfect for a dipping sauce for tofu fries – Adrian is a pro at making those simply pan fried until crispy. This peanut sauce has turned tofu haters into tofu lovers.
Have you found a store-bought peanut sauce that you like? Or do you make your own?
These fresh rolls are a little different each time we make them. Sometimes we use shrimp, sometimes tofu. Sometimes we add avocado for creaminess – other times we skip it. Normally we’ll use both cilantro and mint (love the combo) other times we use just one or the other. We typically use rice vermicelli (rice noodles), but you can also use sushi rice, brown rice, etc. Bottom line – you can personalize these depending on what you have on hand.
The best part about making the fresh spring rolls at home? It makes for a fun hands-on dinner – everyone assembles their own, adding what and how much they want of each ingredient. And it forces you to slow down when you eat because you’re making them as you go. I am the slowest eater on the planet and Adrian is the fastest – this puts us on an even playing field.
How gorgeous are these ingredients?
My love for fresh spring rolls began in college at one of my favorite Boston Vietnamese restaurants, Pho Pasteur. I would go there at least twice a week in college and grad school because the fresh spring rolls were so cheap and so good – and you could make your own with mint, carrots, tofu or shrimp, rice vermicelli and lettuce. They were served with peanut sauce and hoisin sauce for dipping. They were crisp, fresh and packed with flavor. But Pho skimped on the fresh mint – so I always requested extra to add to my rolls.
Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Time: 20 minutes
For the rolls:
- 16 rice paper wraps
- 3-4 oz rice vermicelli noodles / thin rice noodles (normally sold in 8 – 17.5oz packages – make sure you seal the unused portion in a plastic bag, as humidity will ruin it), placed in hot water for 10 minutes then drained
- 1 lb shrimp, cooked (these can either be hot or cold- we prefer to flash saute them so they’re warm)
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 small bunch mint, leaves pulled from stems
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- ½ cup peanuts, crushed
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges
For the spicy peanut dipping sauce (seems like a lot of ingredients, but most of them you probably have on hand).
- ¼ cup peanut butter, creamy is best
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sriracha
- ½ tsp fish sauce
- Juice of ½ lime or if you don’t have a fresh lime, use 1 packet True Lime
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Dash garlic powder
- Dash ginger powder or 1 tsp fresh ginger
For the fresh spring rolls: Prep all ingredients and put into small bowls on the table or atop a large cutting board (as shown). Place rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a simmer, remove from heat and set on table. Dip a rice paper wrap in the water (careful, the water is hot!) and lay on your plate. Then, build your own spring roll and roll it like a mini burrito. Serve with lime segments and peanut sauce.
For the spicy peanut sauce: combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Heat in 10 second increments (3-4 times) stirring after each increment until smooth and combined.
These fresh rolls can also be made ahead of time if you’re serving them as an appetizer for guests.
Visit these other Recipe ReDuxer blogs for more smoke and spiciness inspiration: