Shrimp Winter Rolls (a.k.a Summer Rolls Dressed up for Winter) with Creamy Peanut Sauce
Imagine a family of vibrant, crunchy shrimp summer rolls wearing warm, snuggly cashmere sweaters, and you have these “winterized” summer rolls. They get filled with shrimp, carrots, beets, avocado, cilantro and mint, and are dipped into a thick and creamy peanut sauce that feels like a mink coat over a bikini. The rolls are a delicious and refreshing wintertime (or anytime) meal, and they’re also a killer appetizer or game-time snack (cut the rolls in half to serve a crowd). Be sure to buy more rice paper rounds than you’ll need, as some will inevitably break (I use brown rice wrappers). The rich and creamy sauce is also awesome with chicken kebabs or with grain or noodle bowls.
Servings: 8 rolls
- ¼ cup roasted, salted peanuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped ginger
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha, to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons fish sauce, to taste
- ½ cup water, plus more as needed
- 4 ounces thin rice noodles or bean thread noodles
- 1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 peeled and deveined cooked medium shrimp
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 medium beet, golden or red, shredded (alternatively, you could use shredded Napa cabbage)
- 1 large avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 8 8-to 9- inch rice paper rounds (I used brown rice papers)
Place the peanuts in a mini food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and set aside (these will be used later to sprinkle inside the rolls).
In the same processor or blender (no need to wash), add the garlic and ginger, and process until finely chopped. Add the peanut butter, tamari, honey, 1-2 teaspoons of sriracha (depending on how spicy you like it), 1-2 teaspoons of fish sauce (different brands vary in their intensities—I go for 2 teaspoons of Red Boat Brand), and the water. Season lightly with salt (the fish sauce is salty, so you won’t need much). Process until smooth. If the sauce is really thick, add another tablespoon or two (or more) of water to thin to your liking. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl and set aside.
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Toss with the oil, lime juice and fish sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Give the noodles a taste—if you think they could use more lime juice or fish sauce, go for it.
Cut off the shrimp tails and slice the shrimp in half horizontally. Set up all your fixings.
Fill a pie plate with warm water. Working with 1 rice paper round at a time, dip it into the warm water and let it soak until softened, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a work surface. Arrange a layer of rice noodles across the middle, followed by a sprinkle of the chopped peanuts, some carrots, beets, a slice of avocado, a few cilantro and mint leaves, and 3 shrimp halves (don’t worry about the order; this is just what I do).
Fold the bottom of the rice paper up over the filling, then tuck in the sides and roll it up tightly like a burrito. Transfer, seam side down, to a platter. Repeat with the remaining rice papers. Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.
- The peanut sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
- The rolls can be covered with damp paper towels then plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.
- I use brown rice papers, but you can use white rice paper wrappers if you prefer.