Asian Summer Rolls
with pickled cabbage
You all have seen these Asian summer rolls in the pre-made foods section of your local grocery store. You'll soon see there's no need to pay $5 for 2 rolls when you can so easily make them at home! Look for these summer roll papers in the ethnic aisle or order online.
Smarts: Prep the filling ahead of time. Then when dinner time comes around, it's just a fun wrapping party!
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 2 Tbsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves , minced
- Fish sauce - 2 Tbsp (Red Boat brand has the fewest additives)
- Lime juice - 2 Tbsp
- Hot sauce (opt) - to taste
- Rice vermicelli noodles - 6 oz ((Find these thin rice noodles in the ethnic aisle. If you can't find them, substitute with another thin noodle.))
- Rotisserie chicken - 1/2 , shredded
- Carrots - 1/2 lb , grated
- Cucumbers - 2/3 lb , sliced into matchsticks
- Green lettuce - 1/2 head , leaves torn
- Basil - 4 sprigs , leaves torn
- Rice papers - 16 sheets ((You will probably make about 4 to 6 / person. Look for them in the ethnic aisle.))
- Napa cabbage - 1/2 head , chopped
- Rice vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Salt - 1/2 Tbsp
Pickle cabbage - Chop cabbage and place into a sealable container. Either boil rice vinegar, sugar, and salt or microwave for 1 to 1 ½ minutes to dissolve sugar. Pour pickling liquid over cabbage. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cook rice noodles - Cook according to package instructions. If wrapping summer rolls on the same day, keep the noodles in cold water until you’re ready to wrap. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Rotisserie chicken - If not done already, take meat off the bone and shred. Use knife and fork or just hands. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Carrots - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cucumbers / Green lettuce / Basil - Prep as directed.
Make nuoc nam - Combine sweetener and water and boil (or heat in a microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until water is bubbling). Mix with remainder of sauce ingredients and season to taste with hot sauce. Adjust taste as needed - use fish sauce for more savory, more lime juice for tartness, more sweetener for sweetness. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Fill a frying pan with about 1 ½” (3.75 cm) of water. Heat water over medium-low heat - it shouldn’t be so hot that you can’t touch it.
Dip rice paper into water and rotate through water (make sure to watch this video because it can be a bit tricky to prevent the rice paper from sticking). Place onto a plate. Do 4 at a time and then assemble 4 rolls.
To assemble rolls, layer lettuce, noodles, carrots, cucumbers, chicken and basil at the end of the rice paper that is close to you. Don’t over-fill or the paper will break. Fold rice paper over the filling from the bottom up. Then fold sides over. Roll as tightly as possible (Again, watch the video, which is much better than my description).
Repeat until done. Assemble until you have no more filling.
Enjoy rolls dipped with nuoc nam sauce!