Once a week I buy a package of 6 small summer rolls at the supermarket handmade sushi station. It’s a convenient dinner when I don’t feel like cooking but want something light, healthy and made from scratch. And for that convenience and labor I paid the price: $5.75. But I always thought it was worth it.
The other day, I showed up at the grocery store early in the morning with a craving for them. There were several workers busy at the station, rolling logs of sushi and my favorite summer rolls. I took notice and watched as a worker prepared the summer rolls. She handed me the package and I was on my way. I greedily gobbled them up at the office for breakfast. They tasted so fresh, soft on the outside, with crunchy vegetables inside.
I thought it was too bad that I normally buy them at the end of the day on my way home, and that they would have been sitting in the counter all day. The next night I bought the ingredients I would need and rolled my own, recalling how the store clerk did it. It didn’t take up much of my time. No cooking to do; just a little chopping and slicing. It was so worth it –for my ego, my taste buds, and my wallet!
The rice paper and Asian-style vermicelli you can probably find in the ethnic food section of the grocery store. If not, your local heath food store probably stocks them. Fresh tuna or some other firm fish or seafood can be used in place of crab, if you wish.
I came close to the taste and consistency of the store-prepared orange sauce by using orange marmalade and agave nectar. The pinch of cayenne added that little bit of heat I detected.
Rice paper round
Vermicelli, small handful
1 butter lettuce leaf
Cilantro, small handful
avocado, a few slices
tablespoon of crab
cucumber, a few slices cut into 1/2-inch sticks
shredded carrot, as desired
Sweet Orange Dipping Sauce:
1 tsp orange marmalade
1 tsp agave nectar
dash ground cayenne
Heat a shallow pan on medium heat until hot but not boiling. Add vermicelli for about 2-3 minutes or until soft. Remove, drain and set aside.
Dip rice paper into same hot water for about 10 seconds until just softened. Shake of excess water and place on flat plate or clean surface.
Place lettuce leaf on top of softened rice paper. Add vermicelli, carrot and cilantro, spreading evenly. Line up the cucumber, avocado and crab close to where you will begin rolling up.
Tuck in ends while you carefully roll up the ingredients in the rice paper. Roll should be about 2 to 2-1/2 inches thick. Cut in half and serve immediately with dipping sauce (below).
For dipping sauce add orange marmalade, agave nectar and cayenne to a little bowl. Mix in a few drops of water until the consistency is thinner, as desired.
Makes 2 summer rolls. Double or triple recipe to make 4 or 6 rolls.