A few years back, myself and a group of girlfriends would get together often at one of our houses for a girl’s night. Every once in a while, we’d get some Vietnamese food from a place in Fort Worth, either via take out or dining in. My absolute favorite thing to get were the shrimp spring rolls with a peanut dipping sauce. I would order a double serving and call it a meal!
Eventually the group unofficially ended because several of us were moving to different states/cities and pursuing new and exciting things. I look back fondly on those times and it’s crazy to see how different our lives are now. Lots of new adventures, jobs, marriages, and babies!
In honor of my fabulous female friends, I made some homemade spring rolls with a spicy peanut sauce during my recent Asian cuisine phase. I used some shredded chicken, but you can definitely use shrimp instead or make an all veggie version. The rice papers were fun to work with and after a few tries, I got the hang of folding them. But just a warning – don’t leave the rice papers in the warm water for too long, otherwise they’ll get too soft and sticky and will tear when you try to fold them. (I learned this the hard way) There are a lot of good photo and video tutorials out there; Not Enough Cinnamon has a good step by step demo too.
Besides the meat variations, you can toss in whatever vegetables you prefer. I saw some recipes that used cabbage instead of lettuce, and some that added fresh mint or cucumber too. The peanut sauce is such a perfect addition. You can turn up the heat or leave it more subtle, depending on how much sriracha you want to add. These rolls are much easier to make than they look, so muster up the courage to give them a shot and enjoy!
Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 cup cooked vermicelli rice noodles
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
A few dashes of sriracha sauce (to taste – can add more if wanted!)
Yield: 4+ rolls
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Take a rice paper and dip the entire sheet into the bowl of water and pull out immediately. The rice paper may still feel hard now, but it will soften up while you work with it.
Lay the rice paper out flat. Place a little of each filling ingredient on the middle of the rice paper sheet. Use a good amount, but make sure there are still a couple of inches around the edges to roll.
First fold in the sides of the rice paper. Then fold the top part of the rice paper sheet over the ingredients. Tuck in the fillings and roll the rest tightly. Repeat the above until you run out of filling ingredients.
To make the peanut sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined and use as a dipping sauce for the spring rolls.
Source: Adapted from Spoonful of Sugar Free