Collaboration/ Food/ Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks/ Vegetarian

Fresh Vegetarian Summer Rolls + Spicy Peanut Sauce

As much as I adore fall and its display of dark skies, the smell of smokey cedar, and the sound of crisp leaves crackling beneath our feet, I’m always eager to welcome spring with just as much enthusiasm. The sudden sight of lush landscapes and azure skies always fills me with a feeling of restoration… kind of like the default computer wallpaper of Microsoft’s Windows XP; nothing says “new beginnings” quite like that.

The weather here in North Carolina has been teetering sporadically between warm perfection and nippy disappointment, but the former is starting to outweigh the latter and I am oh-so-ready to get my terra cotta pots out, dig into some soil, plant some seeds, and admire the produce that sprouts. And then make delicious food with it.

One of my favorite things to indulge in when the days are blazin’ hot are these cool and crisp summer rolls with a savory, nutty, and slightly spicy dipping sauce which, simply put, is lip-smackin’ perfection.

I’ve partnered up with eight other Canadian food creatives to bring you a gorgeous collection of refreshing recipes that are fresh AF and *scream* “bring on spring”! You can find links to their wholesome eats at the bottom of this post.

Fresh Vegetarian Summer Rolls + Spicy Peanut Sauce

Chances are you’ve stuffed your face with flaky deep-fried spring rolls before. They’re delicious. But they can’t compete with their brighter, cooler, and much more exhilarating sister: the summer roll.

These beauties bring a mix of chewy rice vermicelli, crisp + cooling veggies, fresh basil, and earthy sprouts to your facehole — and it is straight-up ambrosial.

I like to toss my veggies in a light homemade sesame vinaigrette before rolling them up in rice paper like the delicate little presents they are, but that’s optional. Whether you dress them up or keep them nude, you’ll be pleased as punch.

Now. Let’s talk about that peanut sauce, because I could eat the damn stuff by the spoonful.

I don’t want to suggest that summer rolls can’t stand on their own, but dipping sauce makes everything a little better, doesn’t it? Especially when it’s a punchy and velvety umami-filled blend. There are plenty of summer roll dippin’ choices out there, but this silky and spicy peanut mix is where it’s at.

Fun tip: because the rice paper is so ethereal, I love strategically placing pretty ingredients down onto it first when the rolling commences. That way you can see the beauty right through the wrap. I used tiny shape-cutters to create some fun floral designs with mine!

Planning to make this? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme.
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Fresh Vegetarian Summer Rolls and Spicy Peanut Sauce

These fresh, crisp, and cooling summer rolls are a total dream — especially on a hot and humid day! And that dipping sauce? It's crave-worthy.

Course Appetizer, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 6 rolls
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

Summer Rolls

  • 6-8 sheets of rice paper
  • 2.5 oz cucumber julienned
  • 0.5 oz carrots julienned
  • 0.5 oz radishes julienned
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 2 oz (dry) vermicelli rice noodles
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Any kind of leafy green sprouts clover, pea shoots, etc.

Vegetable Vinaigrette (optional)

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds (you can use light sesame seeds, but black looks way cooler peeking through the rice paper!)

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1-2 TBSP sambal oelek garlic chili sauce
  • 1.5 tsp hoisin
  • 1.25 tsp soy sauce
  • freshly squeezed lime juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 2 TBSP roughly chopped peanuts

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for your vinaigrette if you're making it. Whisk with a fork until combined; set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for your spicy peanut sauce from the peanut butter to the lime juice. Mix thoroughly with a fork until well blended. Garnish with roughly chopped peanuts; set aside.

  3. Julienne your cucumbers, carrots, and radishes; thinly slice your scallion. Place these ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with vinaigrette, and garnish with black sesame seeds. Toss to evenly coat, and set aside.

  4. Finally, prepare your rice noodles as per the packaged instructions. These normally don't take long to cook — so stand by and be ready to strain them and run them under cook water. Once rinsed, gently pat them with a paper towel (or shake them really well in the strainer to rid of any excess water), and portion into segments. You'll want about 0.5 oz per roll, but don't stress over exact numbers — just eyeball it!

  5. Prepare a wide and shallow dish by filling it with lukewarm water; pie plates work perfectly for this!

  6. One at a time, take a sheet of rice paper and submerge it into the water for about 5-10 seconds. (Double check the instructions on the package as dipping times may vary. You don't want to submerge it for too long or the paper will become sticky and unmanageable.)

  7. Bring the paper to a flat work surface. The paper may still seem a bit stiff, but by the time you place your filling, it will have softened up. The first few rolls might be trial and error, but that's all right — packages of rice paper come with plenty, so if you have to start a roll over, go for it!

  8. Place noodles and vegetable filling on the bottom third of the rice paper leaving 1” to 2” on the left and right. Garnish with basil and sprouts.

  9. Wrap like a burrito by taking the edge closest to you and pulling it over the filling, almost tucking it in beneath it. (See notes.)

  10. Roll forward halfway, then tuck in the left and right ends. Roll forward again until you're left with a nice, clean, and sealed roll!

  11. Serve immediately with spicy peanut dipping sauce.

  12. (Please note that summer rolls don't refrigerate well as they become rubbery, so don't make these bad boys in advance; you want to eat them fresh!)

Recipe Notes

  • Because I was short on time when developing this recipe, I failed to take step-by-step photos of the wrapping process (I'm sorry!). I will come back with that in the near future! But in the meantime, check out this link 🙂
  • The amount of rolls this recipe makes depends on how much filling you use in each roll. The best way to go is approximately 2 heaping TBSP of filling. Use your best judgement.
  • You may be left with extra vermicelli rice noodles. To avoid waste, store in the fridge and make a soup or cold noodle salad with them later.

Check out these delish recipes from other Canadian food creatives!

Vegetarian Summer Rolls With Spicy Peanut Sauce | Killing Thyme — These refreshing AF summer rolls are full of crisp veggies and are especially delish when dunked into spicy peanut sauce!

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19 Comments

  • Reply
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    April 24, 2017 at 9:43 pm […] Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Killing Thyme […]
  • Reply
    The Cookie Writer (@TheCookieWriter)
    April 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm My life is complete. These look so tasty, and as a vegetarian myself, I know I could pound back a few... dozen, haha! Seriously, beautiful and a great way to welcome spring! Though my husband may fight me for these :) Have a great Easter!
  • Reply
    tinysweettooth
    April 11, 2017 at 5:26 pm My son is a BIG fan of pho noodles, so we go to Vietnamese food a lot. I mean a lot ! I told him I am going to have pho-phobia soon.....LOL ! And because of my "phobia" I often order salad rolls instead ! But I think making it at home is much better and way fresher ! Love your carrot and cucumber flowers. Happy Spring !
  • Reply
    annika
    April 11, 2017 at 11:49 am These look fabulous Dana! And that's without the pretty shapes included! I have never used rice paper before but your detailed instructions are highly encouraging! Thank you!
  • Reply
    All That I'm Eating
    April 11, 2017 at 7:48 am These are SO pretty! It almost seems a shame to eat them!
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    April 10, 2017 at 6:27 pm […] Fresh Vegetarian Summer Rolls and Spicy Peanut Sauce by Killing Thyme […]
  • Reply
    sugarlovespices
    April 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm Wow, Dana, those summer rolls are really calling my name! Pretty and pretty delicious is hard to bit in my world and your rolls are just like that! Love the flower shape veggies and that see through rice paper! Agree on the peanut sauce, they bring the rolls to a whole new level! Gorgeous! P.s. thank you all for including us in this collaboration even if we were late :-).
  • Reply
    Evelyne CulturEatz
    April 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm OMG your rolls look A-MA-ZING, you even have cute cut veggies in there! And may i have a bucket of that spicy peanut sauce please? I have not made rolls in forever, now I am intimidated lol ;-)
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      April 10, 2017 at 5:22 pm Thanks so much, Evelyne! Haha, NO need to be intimidated! These are oh-so-easy to make. So yeah, I went extra fancy with the cut-out veggies — BUT. I promise they can be just as pretty with the jumble of fresh veggies in there. I really wanted to add some purple cabbage, but my husband hates cabbage so that cramped my style a bit. But yeah, no, seriously — EASY PEASY :)
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    April 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm […] Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Killing Thyme […]
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    April 10, 2017 at 3:52 pm […] Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Killing Thyme […]
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    April 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm […] Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Killing Thyme […]
  • Reply
    DianaL
    April 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm These summer rolls are so pretty and made me incredibly hungry!! This would be such a fun dish to make for a girls weekend. I could chop up the ingredients and get everyone to help roll them up.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      April 10, 2017 at 5:24 pm Thanks, Diana! These are definitely a lot of fun to make with other people. Perhaps a summer roll party is in order ;)
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    April 10, 2017 at 12:31 pm […] Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Killing Thyme […]
  • Reply
    aprettylifeinthesuburbs
    April 10, 2017 at 12:27 pm I think these are some of the most pretty summer rolls I have ever seen...I love the shapes under the rice paper! And GENIUS idea to toss the ingredients in the peanut sauce first before rolling them up! Delicious post!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      April 10, 2017 at 5:25 pm Gosh, thanks Jo-Anna! The veggie are actually tossed in a light sesame vinaigrette for an added zing! I kept the peanut dipping sauce on the side for greedy dunking habits ;)
  • Reply
    maria
    April 10, 2017 at 9:51 am I thought I was the only one that eats peanut butter sauce by the spoonfuls ;) Seriously, these rolls look amazing!!! I also prefer to use rice paper... great post Dana! Fantastic collaboration on a wonderful theme. Have a great week!!!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      April 10, 2017 at 5:27 pm Girrrrrl. Growing up, I'd take back two TBSP of peanut butter and chase them with an icy glass of milk. These days, I try to snack more responsibly, but dang. The tempting is strong, especially with this nutty savory sauce. Thanks so much for the kind words! I hope you have a fantastic week as well!

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