Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

Congratulations Shannon and Amy J in SC! I’ve emailed you both with instructions on claiming your prize.

During my friend’s visit last week, we decided one of the nights that we weren’t going to make dinner until after we put the kids to bed. We had eaten a big lunch out and thought we could wait. Eric was out of town, so it was a fun girl’s night in sort of evening. Knowing how much my friend loves Asian food, I told her that we should pick a recipe out of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, a brand new cookbook written by Jaden Hair that I had just purchased. We decided that Vietnamese Summer Rolls looked like the perfect girl’s night in recipe.

Once you get past the vegetable chopping, it’s really a very simple meal and perfect for social gatherings. We assembled all the ingredients on plates at my kitchen table and assembled our rolls as we talked an ate. Jaden’s recipe uses pork. I didn’t have any, but I did have some shrimp on hand, so we used that instead. And I was finally able to put the Thai Basil in my garden to good use!

The night we made them we used lettuce in the recipe as indicated, though not pictured here. After yesterday’s grocery store trip gone bad (imagine being locked out for 3 hours after a 20 grocery stop), I wasn’t about to head out just for some lettuce. This go around I also omitted the mint, because Eric doesn’t like it. I made these this afternoon for tonight’s dinner and photographed them since I hadn’t the other night – which is probably a good thing because these turned out prettier than the first rolls. Practice makes perfect!

Once you’ve done a few rolls it’s really not that hard at all and the taste is incredible and fresh. Served with a side of coconut sticky rice with fresh mango and almond dipping sauce for the rolls you can’t go wrong with this one. The original dipping sauce recipes that Jaden provides are peanut and cashew. We never have peanut butter in the house since Logan is severely allergic to peanuts, but I did have almond butter that I had just purchased from The great thing about this particular brand – Barney Butter – is that it’s made in a strictly almond only facility. For us that means we can still enjoy a yummy nut butter with added safety for Logan because it hasn’t been cross-contaminated on shared machinery.

And because Jennifer Barney noticed my previous write up of her product (featuring Almond Butter Cookies), she’s offering 2 readers a pack of 1 jar smooth, 1 jar crunchy, and 6 of the smooth 90 calorie packs of almond butter. So, check out the rules and leave a comment for your chance to win!

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls
adapted from Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, by Jaden Hair

  • 1 – 12 oz package rice paper wrappers
  • 1 head soft, leafy green lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 big handful fresh Thai basil
  • Lemongrass Shrimp
  • Almond Dipping Sauce

Have t
he cooked shrimp, rice paper wrappers, vegetables, and herbs ready on your work surface to roll, or arrange ingredients on your dinner table and have everyone roll their own summer rolls.

Fill a pie tin with warm, not hot, water. Dip the edge of the rice paper in the water and quickly use both hands to turn the rice paper so each side dips in the water for 2 seconds.

Lay the still-stiff rice paper on a clean, dry surface. Fold the paper in half. It should be pliable and a bit stiff. Lay your lettuce, vegetables, meat, and herbs. Don’t over stuff! Each roll should only have about 2-3 shrimp.

Starting at the bottom, roll up. Tuck the ingredients in as you get that first turn to create a tighter roll. Continue rolling and you can make a slight tug back on the roll to make it tighter. If your work surface is dry, tugging will be easy. Wipe the work surface dry in between rolls.

Lemongrass Shrimp
adapted from Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

In a bowl, combine the shrimp with the rest of the ingredients. Marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature (while you prepare the vegetables for the rolls). Heat a wok or frying pant until very hot. Add the shrimp in a single layer. You may have to do this in a couple of batches. Fry 1-2 minutes on each side, or until shrimp is cooked through.

Almond Dipping Sauce
adapted from Oshii Eats as seen in The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

  • 1 Tbs cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs chilli garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbs almond butter
  • 2/3 c water, divided

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the oil and, when just starting to get hot, add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add the hoisin sauce, sugar, chilli garlic sauce, almond butter, and half of water, stir well and simmer for 30 seconds. Whisk in the rest of the water if you want a thinner consistency.