We spend so much of our week running around, that it's nice to have a slow interactive meal when we can fit one in. Summer Rolls fit that bill, and we made time for them the other day. The kids can make their own right at the table.
First things first - I wash, prep, and cut everything, and place them on the table. We had leaf lettuce, julienned carrots and cucumbers, sliced pork loin and shrimp, cilantro, basil, and mint. I usually also slice up a half an avocado for myself, but the one on the counter wasn't quite ripe enough.
I have a couple of pie plates of warm water at the table, and we wet down our rice paper wraps just before assembling. Whirling Dervish can do this step on his own, but I dunk the wrap for Snuggle Bunny. The trick is to spin the rice paper in the water so that each section is only dunked for a couple of seconds. The water will continue to absorb and soften the paper as it sits on your plate, so you don't want it too wet or it'll end up tearing as you roll it.
Next, you place whatever fillings you want in your summer roll. SB likes just lettuce, pork, carrots, and cukes - no herbs, and no shrimp.
I like to have everything, except the pork. The beauty of making these at the table, is that everyone gets to have things their way, or experiment with new flavors.
You begin rolling up the wrap from the bottom, once about a third of the way up, you fold in the sides.
Continue rolling until it's completely wrapped. SB chooses to eat them plain. The rest of us dip it in some nuoc mam. I've always made this sauce like my mom, which is to say with no measuring, but it's about 1/2 cup of fish sauce(also called nuoc mam,) the juice of half a lime, 2-3 tbsps superfine sugar, and 1-2 thai chiles, chopped fine.
WD has had much more practice than SB, and is wrapping his 3rd while SB is enjoying his first of the night. One note about the nuoc mam dipping sauce - it smells, so I put the one by WD on a plastic Easter placemat just to protect from drips.
Thanks for popping in and dining with me. I'm joining All The Small Stuff's Tuesdays at the Table, and A Southern Fairytale's Mouthwatering Monday, Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesdays, and Gluten-Free Homemaker's Gluten-Free Wednesdays.