(8 spring rolls)
These spring rolls are fairly easy to prepare, very flexible, and they make great appetizers or snacks.
I've listed what I had on hand to make these, but you can try combining different herbs and vegetables. The shrimp can be left out entirely or swapped out for leftover cooked chicken, beef or pork, or use tempeh or tofu for vegetarian versions and replace the fish sauce with tamari or soy sauce.
2-3 cups warm water
8x 9-inch rice noodle disks
2- 3 cups washed lettuce
3 oz rice vermicelli cooked to al dente, drained and rinsed
1 medium carrot, sliced with a potato peeler
a 4 inch section of English cucumber, cut into match sticks
16 Thai basil leaves
16 mint leaves
8 sprigs of cilantro
16 large cooked shrimp
small clove garlic
1 tbsp - 1/4 cup *dry roasted peanuts (leave out if you are on a Paleo diet)
2 tsp sesame oil
up to 1 tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp rice vinegar
up to 1 tbsp fresh key lime juice
2-3 tbsp water
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4- 1/2 habanero chili thinly sliced, to taste
For the spring rolls:
Place some lettuce, vermicelli, carrot, cucumber, 2 basil leaves, 2 mint leaves and a sprig of cilantro just off to the centre of the noodle disk leaving the edges clear. Place 2 shrimp over the noodles and vegetables.
Pull the shortest portion of the noodle over the filling snugly and start to roll it up. Fold in both sides and then continue to roll up the spring roll.
Place a moist towel over the finished roll/s while you finish making the rest.
You can make these a couple of hours ahead of time if you wrap them carefully in plastic wrap and store them in a covered container in the refrigerator.
For the sauce:
Rub the interior of a mortar with the garlic clove. Add the peanuts (*I use the entire 1/4 cup of peanuts for a chunky sauce which I end up spooning over my spring rolls as it becomes too thick for dipping; use less peanuts if you prefer a thinner sauce. Leave the peanuts out entirely if you are on a Paleo diet as they are legumes, not true nuts.) Pound the peanuts with the pestle until they are fine. Work in the sesame oil and honey. Starting off with the lower amounts of the rice vinegar, lime juice, water and fish sauce, stir these into the peanut mixture. Then tasting the sauce as you go along, add a bit more of whatever you prefer until you find a balance you like of sweet, sour, and salty. Stir in small amounts of the sliced habanero pepper until you achieve the desired hotness.
Serve this sauce with the spring rolls.