Summer Roll with Dipping Sauce
Refreshingly light, these Vietnamese rolls offer a nice alternative to fried egg rolls.
Yield: serves 4-6
For the Dipping Sauce
- 1⁄4 cup fermented whole yellow soybeans
- 3 tbsp. chopped peeled onion
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp. ground chile paste
- 1 tbsp. chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
For the Roll
- 8 oz. boneless pork shoulder
- 18 medium shrimp
- 2 oz. dried rice vermicelli or thin rice sticks
- 12 (8 1⁄4") round, dried rice paper wrappers
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 head bibb or red and green leaf lettuce, leaves separated and halved lengthwise
- For the dipping sauce: Put soybeans, onion, sugar, and vinegar into a blender, cover, and purée until smooth. With the motor still running, gradually add 3⁄4 cup water through hole in blender lid. Transfer to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat until thick and reduced by about half, 10–15 minutes. Allow to cool.
- For the roll: Cook pork in a pot of simmering salted water over medium heat until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Drain, transfer pork to a cutting board, and allow to cool. Cut pork into thin 1" × 2" slices and set aside. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add shrimp, and cook until pink, 1–1 1⁄2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Peel, devein, and halve shrimp lengthwise, then set aside. Bring another small pot of water to a boil, add noodles, and cook until softened, 2–5 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles under cold water until cool. Drain noodles well and set aside. Spread a clean damp dish towel out on a work surface. Fill a wide bowl with hot water and place it next to the towel.
- For each roll, dip 1 rice paper wrapper into the hot water for 8–10 seconds, turning it to wet completely. Lay wrapper flat on the damp towel. Lay 3 pieces of shrimp, cut side up, along bottom third of wrapper, leaving about a 1" border on bottom and sides. Layer 2–3 slices of pork, a small handful of noodles, 6–8 bean sprouts, and 4–5 mint leaves on top of shrimp, in that order. Roll up 1 piece of lettuce lengthwise and put on top of mint. Using both hands, gently press down on filling and roll wrapper around filling once into a tight cylinder, folding sides of wrapper over filling halfway through. Trim off top unused part of wrapper. Set summer roll aside and cover with another damp towel.
- Put dipping sauce into four or six small dishes (depending on the number of diners and add some chile paste and peanuts to each. Serve summer rolls on a plate with dipping sauce on the side. Garnish with lettuce leaves and branches of mint, if you like.