FRESH AND SIMPLE Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce are portable – great for picnics – and require no cooking. (hartphoto.com / Food styling by Carla Buerkle, carlabuerkle.com)
Chris’ recipe is supremely adjustable: “The ingredients are just about anything you want to fill the rice paper,” he says.
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves washed, separated, and dried
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 carrots, shredded
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
4 faux crab legs
12 round rice papers (Chris buys his at Hong Kong Market)
1 package rice vermicelli, cooked according to package instructions until just tender and drained
½ cup Asian-style salad dressing (Chris likes Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing)
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
To prepare the rice paper, soak one sheet in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 20 seconds. Do not over-soak, as it will become too limp to handle. When the rice paper is just pliable, remove it from the water and lay it out to remove any wrinkles. Add the ingredients: lettuce, cilantro, carrot, cucumber, and vermicelli. Be sure to leave about an inch on either side of the paper. Slowly bring the bottom edge of the paper up and fold, squeezing the ingredients tight. Then fold the sides in like a burrito. Add 3 slices of crab. Fold the remaining paper over to form a log shape. It will hold together nicely for the finished product. Serve with Peanut Sauce (recipe follows). Serves 4.
Whisk the dressing and peanut butter together. Adjust the amount of dressing and peanut butter to achieve the consistency you like. Serves 4.