When August rolls around, the last thing I want to do is be in a hot kitchen.
The first thing I want to do, on the other hand, is eat summer rolls. They're fresh, herby and crisp. And because they're filled with a variety of herbs and vegetables, you can play around with what's in your roll.
That's what I decided to do for this recipe: While I love the classic Vietnamese summer roll, I decided to make a few tweaks. Since we're in the peak of stone fruit season, I added some julienned peaches (cut into 1/8-inch-wide, 1 1/2-inch long shoestrings) to the roll and cured the shrimp in a salty lime marinade—so I didn't have to switch on the stove or the oven.
The results were addictive-and incredibly cool.
To learn more, read "Summer Roll Lovin'."
Summer Rolls with Lime-Cured Shrimp and Peaches
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 8 rolls
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 45 minutes
For the Dipping Sauce:
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
1½ tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons chile-garlic paste
For the Lime-Cured Shrimp:
16 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, halved lengthwise
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
For the Summer Rolls:
Eight 8 ½-inch round rice paper wrappers
1 slightly underripe peach cut into ¼ inch slices then julienned
1 cup julienned English hothouse cucumber
1 cup julienned daikon radishes, soaked in in ice water until crisp, drained
1 cup loosely packed fresh Thai basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 bunch (about 2 ounces) chives
1. Make the dipping sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; set aside until ready to serve.
2. Make the lime-cured shrimp: In a small bowl, combine the shrimp, lime juice, salt and sugar. Let the mixture sit, stirring occasionally, until shrimp have started to get a little pink in color, about 10 minutes. Add the hot water and sesame oil and place in refrigerator until shrimp have cooked through and turned completely pink, about 5 minutes. Drain shrimp and place on a paper towel-lined plate to dry.
3. Make the summer rolls: Fill a pie tin or a large shallow bowl with hot water. Working with 1 rice paper wrapper at a time, submerge the wrapper in hot water until pliable, about 10 seconds. Remove and carefully reshape the wrapper on a clean surface. Working quickly, place 4 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, in the center of the wrapper. Layer some peaches, cucumber, daikon, basil, mint, cilantro, peanuts and chives just above the shrimp. Fold the bottom of the rice paper over the filling and fold in the sides. Carefully roll the wrapper into a cylinder, making sure to maintain a uniform and tight shape as you roll.
4. Transfer the summer roll to a platter and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Make ahead: You can make the summer rolls up to an hour in advance. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and transfer to a refrigerator until ready to serve.
TT Tip: Have a few extra rice papers on hand as you may need a few tries before your get the layering and rolling technique down.