Chef Chris Chisholm, Culinary Center Director at Whole Foods Market Arden Arcade, gives his recipe for an exquisite summer shrimp roll.
Summer Roll Bar with Nuoc Cham
Summer Roll Bar
• 24 medium cooked shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined
• 4 ounces dried rice stick noodles or rice vermicelli
• 16 (8-1/2-inch) round rice paper wrappers
• 1 cup mung bean sprouts
• 32 medium fresh mint leaves
• 32 fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
• 16 small fresh cilantro sprigs
• 2 Serrano chiles, stemmed, halved, seeds removed, and thinly sliced (optional)
• 1 medium English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-by-1/4-by-2-1/2-inch sticks
• 3 medium scallions, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2-1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
• 8 Bibb lettuce leaves, cut in half
1. Holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, halve each shrimp horizontally.
2. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Place all of the ingredients in separate containers and arrange them in the following order around a work surface: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro, serrano cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
4. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on a work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the towel.
5. Working quickly, lay 3 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer a scant 1/4 cup of the rice noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 2 of the mint leaves, 2 of the basil leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and 2 pieces of serrano, if using. Place 4 of the cucumber sticks and 2 of the scallion pieces on either side of the noodle pile. Roll one piece of lettuce into a cigar shape and place it on top of the noodle pile.
6. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding the whole thing firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top.
7. Turn the roll so that the seam faces down and the row of shrimp faces up. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Leave 3/4 inch between each summer roll on the sheet so they don't stick together, and replace the water in the pan or dish with hot tap water as needed.
Adapted from a Chow.com recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10641-vietnamese-style-summer-rolls-with-peanut-sauce