Platter of Summer Rolls
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Summer Rolls
  -   Nime Chao
24 rolls  
1-3/4 hr  
These popular rolls are a delicious Cambodian appetizer that requires no cooking. Serve them with Tuk Trey or other dip. They are vegetarian, unless you add shredded Shrimp, Pork or Chicken (shrimp is most common).




Rice Papers (1)
-- Filling
Rice Vermicelli (2)  
Cucumber (3)
Bean Sprouts
Mint Leaves (4)
Cilantro Leaves
Lettuce Leaves
-- Serve With
Tuk Trey Dip (4)
Ginger Sauce (5)
Prep   -   (50 min - for 24 rolls)
Note: all weights of vegetables are after cutting because actual yield can be quite variable. Weight for Vermicelli is dry.
  1. Boil plenty of Water, let it cool a little and pour over Rice Vermicelli. Let it soak until soft, but still a bit chewy. This can be 20 to 40 minutes depending on thickness. Drain thoroughly. Stretch them out and cut to 3-1/4 inch lengths.
  2. Peel CARROTS and cut into fine strips. A julienning vegetable peeler is invaluable for this. Cut to about 3-1/4 inch lengths.
  3. Peel CUCUMBER. Use a julienning vegetable peeler to peel it into fine strips, down to the seed mass.
  4. Cut SCALLIONS into thin strips about 3-1/4 inches long.
  5. Pinch off the root threads from the BEAN SPROUTS. This will prevent them from tangling and make handling easier. It also gives you a chance to eliminate broken and discolored sprouts.
  6. Cut or tear LETTUCE leaves into pieces that will line the inside of the rolls
Run   -   (50 min - for 24 rolls)
  1. Lay out a damp cloth napkin on which to work. Put a large unrimmed plate in the sink and run warm water into it. Dip sheets of rice paper into the warm water for about 3 seconds (see Note-7), then immediately move it to the napkin to work. Do not over-soak, it will continue to soften while you add the filling.
  2. Fill and roll the rolls- see Photo Gallery. If you are organized you can do this in less thatn 2 minutes per roll.
    1. Set a piece of lettuce just in from the near edge of the rice paper
    2. Arrange the Vegetable strips and Vermacelli over the Lettuce, finishing with the Bean Sprouts. Place no more than 2 Mint Leaves over the filling, then sprinkle generously with Cilantro Leaves.
    3. Wet your fingers so they don't stick. Picking up the edge nearest to you roll over the filling until you are at the center of the Rice Paper.
    4. Fold in the two sides. Be aware: when rice paper touches rice paper even for a second, the bond is permanent.
    5. Continue rolling up the roll. You can tighten the roll as you go.
    6. Set rolls aside on wax paper to rest. They must not touch each other. If making ahead, see Note-7.
  3. Arrange on a platter with desired garnishes and serve warm with individual bowls of Dipping Sauce. You may wish (particularly for buffet service) to cut the rolls in half to make twice as many smaller pieces that are easier to handle. If you are using 9-1/2 inch Rice Papers instead of 8 inch, you will definitely want to cut them in half.
  1. Rice Papers / Banh Trang:   these almost transparent rice sheets are available in various sizes at any market that serves a Southeast Asian community. Buy more than you need, because there will be breakage. The steps above are for 8 inch diameter circles. If using 9-1/2 inch circles, cut the vegetables about 3/4 inch longer. For details see our Rice Noodles page.
  2. Rice Vermicelli:   [Rice Stick] Do not confuse these with bean threads which behave much differently. Those would work too, but need to be simmered tender. Straight vermicelli is best for this recipe. For details see our Rice Noodles page.
  3. Cucumber   A standard green blimp cucumber works well here. Just peel, then using a julienning peeler work around the cuke until you're down to the seed mass. Eat the seed mass with a vinegar dip.
  4. Mint Leaves:   these are strong so use only 2 leaves per roll. If it is still too minty for your taste, use Thai Basil or some other herb.
  5. Tuk Trey Dip:   This is an essential Cambodian dip, similar to Vietnamese Nuoc Cham. It is easy to make, see our recipe Tuk Trey.
  6. Ginger Sauce   This is another dip that works well with these rolls. See our recipe Ginger Sauce.
  7. Soaking:   Different brands of Rice Paper vary in soaking time, and some do not soften evenly. If you have uneven paper, lay it out on the towel to start wrapping from the firm edge. Do not oversoak, the Rice Paper will continue to soften as you work. If over-soaked it will be difficult to work with.
  8. Doing Ahead: - see Clamshell Photo. Keep at room temperature it storage won't be too long. Rice noodles and rice paper stiffen some with refrigeration, though they are still quite edible. For this reason, I usually prepare all the fillings (except rice noodles) the evening before and refrigerate overnight. I do the rolling a few hours before the party. Be careful the rice paper doesn't get dry.
    1. Get some 8 inch square plastic Clamshells. These are available from Smart & Final and other Restaurant Supply stores.
    2. Line the bottom of the Clamshell with Wax Paper. Arrange 4 rolls so they don't touch each other, and a 5th over on the side.
    3. Cover the rolls with Wax Paper and arrange 5 rolls over them so the center 3 rest between the lower rolls and keep them apart. You can put another roll over the one on the side.
    4. Cover this layer with Wax Paper. Arrange 4 rolls over the 5 so they tend to keep the 5 from touching each other.
    5. If storage will be long, cover with another sheet of wax paper and place a smaller piece of damp paper towel over it to assure sufficient humidity.
    6. Snap the Clamshell shut. Do not refrigerate unless you have to.
  9. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch
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