Summer in your belly – Vietnamese (summer) rolls with mint dipping sauce

I know it’s not summer yet, it’s not even spring in most parts of this world but it’s good to have the summer in your hearts, souls and in your bellies. That’s what this dish is all about.

I’m preparing these rolls for many years now and in every season and they are an all time favorite of my loved ones. So let’s share some sun, freshness and delight by eating a piece of summer together.

Ingredients (makes 8 rolls):

For the rolls:

  • 8 6-inch round rice paper
  • 2 cups cooked Saifun noodles (bean threads)
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, slit
  • 1 smoked tofu, sliced
  • 8 fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1,5 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 8 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients for the dipping sauce in a blender or food processor and puree them. Set aside. Mix 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, 1 tablespoon peanut oil, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce together and mix with the cooked Saifun noodles and chopped peanuts. Heat a saucepan with 1 tablespoon peanut oil and roast the scallions and shiitake mushrooms for about 3 minutes. In another saucepan roast the tofu with 1 tablespoon peanut oil until lightly brown. Set aside. Dip a sheet of rice paper into a bowl of hot water for about 10 seconds or until smooth. Then lay on a damp towel. Working on bottom third of rice paper, spread some of the Saifun noodle mix, 2 slices shiitake mushrooms with scallions, a slice of tofu, cucumber, and a basil leave. Fold up bottom edge to cover, then fold in the sides. Roll tightly. Continue with remaining ingredients. Serve rolls right away, or refrigerate, lightly covered, up to 2 hours. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and serve with dipping sauce.

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