These Summer Rolls are fresh, light and healthy! Filled with pineapple, ham, fresh herbs and vegetables, they’re perfect little parcels for dipping in Roasted Almond Hoisin Sauce.
Full disclosure, right off the bat, I’m the worst summer rolls roller in the world!
They almost always seem to want to burst at me whenever I’m making them. Doesn’t matter if I make them skinny or fat. Small or big.
Which is unfortunate, since summer rolls are something I would want to eat everyday.
The plan was to bring this to you the very next day after Easter, to give you an idea on what to do with your leftover Easter ham, but the summer rolls were not cooperating.
I had to keep redoing it. Here I even tried to add edible flowers to make them prettier. But nobody wanted to eat them. They kept asking me where I got the flowers from. Why are people so suspicious?!
I kept telling myself that we’re all friends here anyway at Fiesta Friday, and you wouldn’t mind if I present to you less-than-perfect summer rolls. But I HAD TO KEEP TRYING!! They don’t call me stubborn for nothing. I prefer to call myself determined. And diligent. And daring. Uh…actually I’m a scaredy cat.
Okay, anyway, what I really want to talk to you about is the dipping sauce. This Roasted Almond Hoisin Sauce.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is THE best dipping sauce I’ve ever tasted! So good you might want to start using it as satay or noodle sauce, or even salad dressing.
So good I thought about changing the title of the post to “Roasted Almond Hoisin Sauce with Pineapple and Ham Summer Rolls.” But then I would sound like a weirdo.
But listen, honestly, even though these summer rolls themselves are pretty well-flavored by the herbs and pineapple in them, they are NOT complete without the sauce. Please take note of that!
As anyone knows, summer rolls are highly personal. Some people like them with shrimp. Others with chicken, beef or pork, or even all veggies. With or without noodles, and so on.
Whatever your preference is, before you start making the rolls, start making the sauce first.
And you start by roasting and grinding your own almonds.
Sure you can use almond butter, but you won’t be able to control the degree of chunkiness or roastiness. Yeah, let’s continue butchering the English language, shall we? Hey, if Sarah Palin could get away with saying words like “spinelessness,” I could use roastiness.
This is what the perfect chunkiness and roastiness looks like to me.
I probably should separate the rolls and the sauce into two different posts, but I don’t have time to write two posts. Besides, I’m giving you BOGO this way. Who can refuse BOGO?!
So, to recap, I found out a few things that helped me make better summer rolls.
Helpful hints on making summer rolls
- Make sure you use freshly bought rice paper. Older ones tend to be brittle and easy to tear.
- Shop around for a good brand. They vary a lot in qualities. You generally get what you pay for.
- Cut ingredients into thin and long pieces rather than chunky.
- Rice noodles do help bind the filling, which makes rolling easier, since they’re kind of tacky. They’re also a traditional filling ingredient. However, they’re not essential.
- Don’t leave the paper in the water for longer than 10 seconds! It may still be slightly stiff when you take it out of the water, but it’ll soften in just a few more seconds.
These were my first batch. Not bad, because I selected the few that didn’t tear.
Now I think I can make pretty decent ones. Practice does make perfect.
- 8 (10-inch) round rice paper sheets
- 2 cups shredded lettuce leaves
- 1 cup julienned or spiralized carrots
- 1 cup julienned or spiralized cucumbers
- 1 cup julienned pineapple
- 1 cup julienned cooked ham
- Fresh herbs (mint or basil or cilantro or a mix)
- 1 cup roasted almonds, ground to your liking.
- ½ cup finely minced onion
- 1¼ cups water
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic chili paste
- Work with 1 rice paper sheet at a time. Dip it into a large shallow bowl or plate filled with hot water. Completely submerge paper in water and leave for about 10 seconds. Gently lift it and lay it down on a cutting board that's been lined with damp kitchen or paper towel.
- Pile vegetables, ham, and pineapple on the bottom third of rice paper, in a straight row across. Try to evenly distribute the filling across. Don't clump it together in the center.
- Fold both sides of the paper over the filling, then roll up the bottom part of paper and continue rolling into a cylinder, like you would a burrito.
- If you like, before the last turn/roll, place herbs to garnish/decorate the rolls. They will show through the thin translucent paper.
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir to incorporate.
- Cook on medium high heat until it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Sauce will thicken considerably once it's cool. Add more water if you prefer thinner consistency.
- This will make about 2 cups of sauce. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.
Joanne @No Plate Like Home says
These spring rolls look and sound delicious. I have Hoisin sauce too. I just discovered Mirin sauce thanks to Petra.
Thanks, Joanne! Hoisin sauce is a must I think for summer rolls. Some restaurants serve them with fish sauce, but I always ask for hoisin 🙂 I have 2 bottles of mirin! Mostly I use mirin in Japanese dishes.
This looks compelling! My daughter has used rice paper to make spring rolls, but I like your fillings better.
Thanks, Glenda! I love pineapple so even though it may be non-traditional to use it in summer rolls, to me it adds so much flavor. Try it and let me know what you think. Maybe the daughter can make them for you 😀
Jhuls | The Not So Creative Cook says
Angie, these are the prettiest summer rolls I have ever seen. I hope I could say ‘I’ve ever tasted’, but too bad we are not neighbors! Anyway, I know these are delicious with all the ingredients and with all the effort you put into making them. You say you are bad at rolling rolls, but you didn’t see mine. Why’d you think I don’t have a summer rolls recipe yet?? Yours look too pretty to eat, but naaahhh I am going to eat some. Thank you for bringing these to your own party.? They would be a hit, I am sure!
Thanks, Jhuls! I had to try many many times before getting a few nice-looking ones. I was so trilled I didn’t want to eat them until I showed them to everyone. It was like passing an exam 😀 Thanks for cohosting, Jhuls. It’s very much appreciated especially when I’m busy like this week.
these are straight up the most beautiful rolls I’ve EVER seen in my life. The violas roll is gorgeous. I think you made them perfectly, I don’t see any rips or tears. Pinned and shared.
Thanks, Laura! There were some rips which I covered up with mint leaves 😀 But I did get better though. I think practice does make perfect 🙂
Helen at the Lazy Gastronome says
These are absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing your great recipes at the What’s for Dinner party.
Thanks, Helen! Love partying with you ?
Are you kidding me? Those rolls are gorge!! And I’m loving the sauce. I’d be making them right now in the middle of the night if I had everything…!!!!
They became gorgeous much later after a lot of practice and another package of rice paper! The sauce is a must, seriously. I can’t say enough how good it is!
These are just gorgeous Angie! I love food like this, especially when it is so pretty. 😀 I am going to make these with my daughter!
Thanks, Antonia! I really should make more summer rolls at home. I recently saw a recipe using collar greens as the wrappers. I’m going to give that a try.
These look so fresh and irresistible! I’ve never tried to make summer rolls, but I can definitely relate to remaking and holding off on posting things because of aesthetic details – but I think that old adage is true, that we’re all our own worst critics. These look fantastic, and that SAUCE!! That looks positively dreamy.
The sauce is the best part. I was definitely licking my spoon ? Summer rolls are quite easy to master actually, but practice does make perfect. Thanks, Mara!
Crystal And Daisy Mae says
followed You. Hope you follow me at http://crystalsphotobloggingsite.wordpress.com . This blog isn’t just about photos. The sauce looked to be the best.
Sure, Crystal, thanks!
Great recipe ! I just made them and my family loved them.
That’s great to know, I’m so glad ?
Mary (cactus haiku) says
I love this summer twist on vietnamese spring rolls and so pretty too with the flowers and leafs showting through the translucent wrap
Thanks so much, Mary!
The hoisin sauce is delicious! I use it as a dipping sauce for tofu and it’s fabulous. Thanks for the recipe.
Ooh…that sounds great with tofu, I’ll try it next time. I’m so glad you like it!