Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I have been craving Thai food lately. I don't know what it is but it seems like I have to order Thai at least once a week now. There are not many Thai restaurants around and I have pretty much tried all of them within a 10 mile radius of home and work! I guess it's my latest food obsession. So much so, that I decided to make one of my favorite appetizers at home: Thai Summer Rolls. These rolls are like eating fresh vegetables and shrimp with a hint of mint all wrapped up into a rice paper wrapper. They are not fried but eaten fresh. Its kind of like a salad wrapped up in a light blanket. They are super healthy and low calorie. Don't feel bound to the recipe either. I changed a couple of things to make it more convenient for me. I have seen similar recipes that call for cabbage, cilantro, tofu, cucumber ....so feel free to change it up a bit.

I found a book in our collection: EVERYDAY THAI COOKING  by Katie Chin. It was perfect since I do not know much about Thai food; only what I have tried at restaurants and believe me, I am only getting started! This book was a great help in introducing me to Thai cuisine, It provides the tips, tools and techniques to make Thai cuisine in your own home! Try it, its a nice change from the boring and ordinary.


2 oz dried rice vermicelli
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dark sesame oil
16 medium sized raw shrimp
1 package of 12 in round rice paper wrappers
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks
4 Tbs of fresh mint leaves
4 Tbs of fresh basil leaves (I substituted cilantro and scallions and it was delish!)
8 large or 16 small red-leaf lettuce leaves, cut in half lengthwise

Place the rice vermicelli in a large bowl. Pour enough hot water over them to cover. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Toss with 1 tsp of sesame oil. ( I omitted the noodles since I did not have any on hand)

Add the shrimp to boiling water; reduce heat to medium. Cook shrimp until it turns pink, about 2-3 minutes. Drain. When cool, remove the shells. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise, and set aside.

I put out all the ingredients to fill the rolls on paper plates for easy cleanup and to have it organized so I can make the rolls without hassle.

Now fill a large, flat bowl with warm water, making sure it is large enough to fit the rice paper wrappers. Lay a clean towel on the workspace in front of you. Carefully dip a round wrapper into the water, just to get it wet all over, trying not to crack it. It will still be slightly hard. Remove it from the water and lay it onto the clean towel where it will continue to soften.

Layer a small amount of each of the ingredients on the bottom 1/3 of the wrap. Start with a lettuce leaf, then about 1 Tbs of bean sprouts, 2-3 pieces of shrimp, some noodles, followed by some shreds of carrot and then top with 2 leaves of basil and mint. Fold up the bottom 1/3, fold in the sides and roll up the rest of the length to make an egg roll shape. Set aside and continue with the rest of the ingredients until all of the rice wrappers are used. Serve with Hoisin Peanut Sauce for dipping.


1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbs creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs water 
1 Tbs rice or white vinegar
Crushed roasted peanuts for garnish

Bring hoisin sauce, peanut butter, water and vinegar to a boil in a saucepan over moderately high heat. Immediately remove from heat. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Garnish sauce with crushed peanuts.