Shrimp and Strawberry? Do you think I sound crazy right now? Trust, young padawans, and learn the ways of combining sweet and savory. Rice noodles, pickled veg (and mango!), basil, mint, scallions, shrimp, and strawberries are combined in a rice wrapper for the ultimate summer freshness. Served with a delicious peanut sauce for dipping - get in my face!
I had seen a blog photo ages ago that I loved on this site, but I was scared to try it because I had never made summer rolls before and it seemed finicky. Then I was over at a friend's house for dinner and that is what we made! It was a bit tricky, but not as scary as I had imagined. She was a pro, so I asked her to help me make my shrimp and strawberry rolls. Then I looked at the recipe for the photo I loved, and wasn't a big fan of the ingredients. I wanted noodles instead of cabbage, and mango instead of bell pepper. So I switched some things around.
Then we got to work! She was skeptical of my flavor combo, but ended up loving it. You can see the progression here from back to front where I put the ingredients on in the wrong order so the pretty parts didn't show, then exploded one, then finally got some decent rolls. The good news is - it doesn't matter if you don't get the best looking rolls, they still taste amazing!
The first step is to make the pickle mixture. Julienne a carrot, cucumber, daikon radish, and mango. I did the mango and my friend did the veggies, can you tell? Ha! Combine with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for a quick pickle. Make sure you give yourself at least 1-3 hours for this!
Meanwhile, cook the shrimp in garlic and ginger infused sesame oil; then toss in a soy, rice vinegar, and honey mixture. Cook and drain the rice noodles (you can toss them with a bit of sesame oil and scallions, but we had a picky eating child with us, so we didn't). Then prepare the basil and mint leaves, slice the strawberries, and chop the scallions. Set out a dish of water and your wrappers, and you are ready to roll!
You need to dip the wrappers in water to soften them. They will continue to soften as you work, but you will need to play around with yours to find out how long you should have them in the water before rolling. And make sure to do them one at a time! This is the order you want the ingredients to be in, but upside down so that the shrimp and strawberry show through the wrapper. So - shrimp and strawberry on the bottom, then herbs, then pickles, then noodles and scallions.
See, this photo isn't pretty, but this is what it will look like. Make sure that you lay the filling out a little off from center, about 1 inch from the edge. Then, fold up the back edge (lengthwise) to cover the filling snugly. Fold up the two sides, and then roll to seal. You should end up with the seam side down and the shrimp and strawberries on top. Don't worry if it takes a couple tries to get it.
Now you are ready to serve with a delicious dipping sauce made from peanut butter, coconut milk, rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and sesame oil. Enjoy!
Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls
adapted from Healthy Nibbles and Bits
For the pickled vegetables:
1 large carrot
1 medium cucumber
1 piece of daikon radish (equal in size to the other veg)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
For the shrimp:
1 1/2 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 inch knob ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
For the rolls:
rice summer roll wrappers (at least 15)
rice vermicelli noodles
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
1 pint strawberries, sliced
For the sauce:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (from the can)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil
Make the pickles: Julienne the vegetables and mango (don't use the seeded part of the cucumber). Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the vegetables, toss to combine, cover, and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
Cook the shrimp: Heat the sesame oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic slices and cook for a few minutes, until the oil is infused with flavor. Remove the ginger and garlic slices before the they burn.
Increase the heat to medium high and add the shrimp. Cook a few minutes per side, until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, combine the soy, vinegar, and honey. Season the shrimp with black pepper and toss with the soy mixture. Set aside to cool.
Make the noodles: Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, and toss with sesame oil and scallions. Set aside to cool.
Make the sauce: Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Make the rolls: Set out a dish of water, a plate or board to roll on, and all of your ingredients. Dip a wrapper in water (how long you dip it for will depend on a lot of factors, so test it out, it will continue to soften as you work).
Lay the wrapper on your rolling surface and top with 2 shrimp and 2 strawberries, alternating for a pretty pattern, in one third of the wrapper (to the side of center, about an inch from the edge). Lay a couple mint and basil leaves over top, then some pickled veg, then some noodles.
Fold up the back edge of the wrapper to cover the filling, then fold up the two sides. From the back, roll tightly, holding in the sides to keep everything in place (just like a burrito).
Repeat until you are finished. Serve with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!