Everyday Food: Summer rolls are a quick and easy treat

09/02/2014 12:00 AM

08/31/2014 9:38 PM

Vietnamese summer rolls are a cool, refreshing treat on hot days. When paired with a peanut dipping sauce or a spicy version made with hoisin, the tightly rolled bundles are a lively blend of flavors and textures.

Rolling them is as fast and easy as making a burrito, and the filling options are endless. These just might become your new favorite no-cook meal.

Spring-roll wrappers

The round wrappers frequently labeled “spring roll skin” or “bánh tráng” are used to make fresh, soft summer rolls or crisp, fried spring rolls. The brittle, almost translucent sheets are made with rice powder. Look for spring-roll wrappers in the international aisle of your supermarket, at an Asian grocery or online. Store them in an airtight container in a dark, dry place, up to three months.

A quick soak in water makes the wrappers tender and easy to work with. Oversoaking makes them mushy and more likely to tear.

For the best results, work with one wrapper at a time, rolling it up snugly so that the roll stays firm and tight. The 6-inch rounds are the traditional size for spring rolls and the 8-inch ones are usually used for summer rolls. For a party, try making bite-size summer rolls with the smaller wrappers. Experiment with fresh fillings and flavor combinations.

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