Rice paper is the blank canvas for any flavors you fancy.
Photos: Ted Cavanaugh
Almost too pretty to eat, summer rolls elevate your midday meal in many ways. (They make the perfect snack option, too.) One, they're exotic eye candy, making you feel slightly transported for the hour or so break you take. Two, you can pack them full of healthy anything, like fruit, veggies, shrimp, chicken, and more. Plus, while they look complicated, they're super simple to make. Pick up some rice papers, and you're set to create wrap stars you'll be eating all season long. (Can't find rice papers? Try a deconstructed summer roll salad.)
Choose Your Combos
Try these flavorful, colorful roll ideas from Keen Zheng, chef of Umami in Omaha. Once you get the hang of it, you can freewheel omakase style—"chef's choice"— and put together your own fun and fresh creations.
- Mango, blackberry, lettuce, avocado, watermelon
- Shrimp, peanuts, lettuce, mango, ginger dressing
- Red cabbage, tomatoes, chicken, corn, wasabi mustard dressing (mix together soy sauce, vinegar, and wasabi mustard)
- Green beans, lettuce, cucumber, peach, avocado, white beans, vinaigrette dressing
- Strawberry, blueberry, avocado, sunflower seeds, balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Wrap It Up
They may look fancy, but they're actually super simple. Here are the step-by-step instructions for making summer rolls.
- Cut fruits and vegetables into similar-sized pieces to keep rolls even.
- Soak rice paper in a bowl of warm water for about 3 seconds until it softens slightly.
- Lay wrappers on a clean cutting board. Place all ingredients–vegetables, protein, and dressing–in the center of each.
- Fold in the sides, covering the filling partially.
- Roll the wraps from the bottom up.
- Cut rolls in half if desired. Store in the refrigerator in plastic wrap; tote the rolls to work in a sturdy container.