Summer rolls are one of the healthiest and creative summer meals in my mind. Where it is not oily and deep fried like the more commonly known spring roll it still has the great ease of eating a “roll” great for picky eaters, small fingers, and great as an snack/appetizer or if you eat enough as a meal.
One of my favorite things about a summer roll is that when making them yourself you have plenty of options on what to add in them. Some of my ideas are:
- Protein: crab, marinated tofu (hoison, teriyaki are my favorites), beef, chicken slices, salmon, shrimp.
- Vegetables: carrots, cucumber, avocado, bell peppers, cabbage, spinach
Of course I love to add in rice noodles, but some people choose not to add those, but to me they add thickness and make the summer roll more filling. Whatever works for you though!
When making summer rolls, at least for myself, give yourself time! The first time I made summer rolls I was in the kitchen close to two hours just with prep and then finishing and rolling the summer rolls. Some other tips I have for you that I learned the hard way are:
- Don’t make all the rice paper at once and lay it out…I did this for about 5 and then realized they were all sticking together and by the time I was going to try and wrap them a) they wouldn’t come apart, and b)they were not workable (as in they were stiff)
- If you can, have an “assistant” (my mother gladly took this spot for me) and have them water the rice paper while you are making the last roll (my mother started watering the rice paper when I was doing my first fold, the timing worked perfectly!)
- Put your vegetables and protein (ie. tofu or crab) on before you put the rice noodles on, it’s easier to fold in my idea and it makes it easier to see the “fixings” from the outside, making them more appetizing.
- Put your “fixings” close to the bottom of one side, fold edges in and roll up.
- If you have leftovers, store with wet paper towels, and do not fully close, let it breath just a little.
Like I’ve said one of my favorite things is knowing there is no set recipe for a summer roll, this meal just screams foodie fun, letting you experiment as much as you want! I’m hoping to have summer roll assembly line once I have my little blessing and they are old enough to eat these sort of solids, they are able to pick and choose exactly what they want to eat!
Have you ever made summer rolls? any tips I didn’t cover?