Gluten-Free Summer Rolls
Making summer rolls takes patience. Not a ton of patience like making a complicated bread or intricate pastry, but enough patience to roll the rice paper wrappers after stuffing them with as many delicious goodies as you can fit! These Gluten-Free Summer Rolls are a great starting point for anyone new to making summer rolls. You can follow the recipe exactly or you can swap the fillings for whatever you want.
In my opinion, the sauce for your summer rolls is as important as the rolls themselves because it brings all the flavors together. I like to use the Marukan’s lite seasoned rice vinegar in this dipping sauce because it has the perfect balance of acid, sweet, and salt – essential for the sauce.
As I mentioned, for the fillings you can use pretty much anything. Meats and fish should be cooked (with the exception of perhaps sushi grade tuna). You want to add vegetables for crunch. If you use vegetables that typically require cooking, they should be pre-cooked. You can even add spears of mango or pineapple or sliced strawberries for a fresh take. I like to make “California” summer rolls – the rice noodles stand in for the rice, I add avocado, some thinly sliced jalapeño, and thin slices of cream cheese. Herbs are a must! Especially mint. It really gives the rolls that fresh flavor you are looking for.
If you want a fun way to entertain, instead of rolling the rolls ahead, place out the ingredients and let everyone make their own.
And one more tip … if you want a certain ingredient highlighted in the final roll (for instance shrimp) roll the rolls 2/3 of the way then layer on that ingredient and finish rolling.
Gluten-Free Summer Rolls
- ¼ cup Marukan Lite Seasoned Rice Vinegar
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 cloves garlic , grated or finely minced
- 1-2 Thai chilis , minced (remove seeds for less heat or use Fresno chilies)
- 8 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 small head lettuce
- Large handful fresh herbs such as mint, basil, Thai basil, cilantro
- 8 ounces cooked meat, shrimp, or gluten free imitation crab, or a combination
- 1 medium seedless cucumber , cut into very thin strips
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 avocado , sliced thinly (optional)
- 3 ounces cream cheese , cut into thin strips (optional)
- 12 (8 or 9 inch) rice paper spring roll wrappers
- Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients in a small jar. Shake well to combine.
- Place the noodles in a large bowl, cover with bowing water, and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
- Gather all the filling ingredients on a cutting board or in small plates or bowls.
- Prepare a large bowl with warm water. One by one, dip a rice paper wrapper into the warm water, turning it if needed to get it all wet. Only dip it into the water for a few seconds – the wrapper should still be a little stiff. Rice paper wrappers are difficult to work with if over soaked. If still a little stiff, they will continue to soften as you add the ingredients.
- Place the wrapper on a cutting board or mat. On the 1/3 section closest to you, start to layer your ingredients by first placing a leaf or two of lettuce. Next add noodles, vegetables, herbs, and meat.
- Roll the wrapper over the ingredients, tucking and rolling as you go – as if making a burrito. Make sure you keep the fillings together and wrap it tightly.
- Note: if using shrimp, roll the wrapper until you have 1/3 left then put on a layer of shrimp – this way the shrimp will show in the finished wrap.
- Continue with the rest of the wrappers and ingredients.
- Cut the rolls in half on a diagonal and serve.
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