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A boldly flavored yet refreshing summer dinner

Vietnamese summer rolls (gỏi cuốn) with spicy peanut sauce

These are one of my favorite summer go-tos. They require nearly no cooking and the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and put covered in the fridge. I can’t recall when I first had these rolls, but when I was little, my mom’s office was located in Boston’s Chinatown.

On the rare occasion like take-your-daughter-to-work-day, we’d go to this wonderful Vietnamese restaurant and have lunch there. The flavors of these rolls remind me of skipping school and spending time with my mother.

Ingredients

Rolls

12 pieces rice paper

1 carrot, julienned

1 small cucumber, julienned

1/4 cup fresh Thai basil

1/4 cup fresh mint

1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded

12 Shrimp, cooked and sliced in half

Sauce

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp garlic, minced

1/2 tsp coconut oil

1 tbsp peanuts, crushed

1 tsp chili sauce

Recipe

STEP 1

Prep the roll ingredients. To cook the shrimp I often use frozen shrimp and simply toss them into a hot pot of water and let them cook for a few minutes until fully cooked through.

STEP 2

Grab a large bowl and fill with room temperature water. My rice papers tend to be a little too thin, so I double them and dip into the water.

STEP 3

Working with some speed, place the rice paper onto a cutting board and layer the ingredients against the bottom edge of the rice paper. Fold the rice paper edge closest to you over the ingredients and tighten up the ingredients. Then fold in the edges and continue to roll it up tightly.

STEP 4

Continue to make the rolls with the remainder of the ingredients - you should be able to make a total of 6 rolls. With a very sharp knife, slice the rolls in half and put onto plates without the rice paper touching.

STEP 5

For the sauce, heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic to the pot and stir until the garlic is fragrant and a bit cooked through. Add in the peanut butter, sesame oil, and water and stir until thickened a bit. Take off the heat and pour into a serving dish. Top with chili sauce and crushed peanuts.

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MEET YOUR MEAL

Every Sunday evening, I send out a newsletter with the following week's dinner menu, and the seasonal produce featured. The newsletter is free, and I won't share or sell your email address.

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- Julia Feld