Brown Rice Shrimp Summer Rolls with Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce
Easy and healthy shrimp summer rolls made with brown rice papers and served with peanut lime dipping sauce. Perfect for spring and summer entertaining!
I feel like these brown rice shrimp summer rolls should be called lucky summer rolls. In fact, I was this close to calling them that. Perfect for today’s holiday, no? They might not be quite as festive as this Guinness stout cake, but they are just as tasty.
This week has already been so huge for us! As great as these summer rolls are, they don’t get the credit. I’ve alluded to this on the blog before, but the week has finally arrived. Yesterday, Connor and I anxiously awaited to hear whether he had matched into orthopaedic surgery residency for next year. It’s an incredibly competitive process and frankly, couldn’t be more stressful. The great news, and hence the lucky reference, is that he did. Cue all of the celebratory emojis. We got the email at noon, and couldn’t be more thrilled, relieved, and thankful.
The crazy part?! We don’t find out where until Friday. So until that day arrives, all we know is that we’ll be in living (and most likely moving to) in one of nine very, very different cities for the next five years of our lives. No big deal. Excuse me while I go and emotionally eat everything in sight.
[Just kidding. I hope!]
Now that I’ve shared and gotten that off my chest, let’s talk brown rice shrimp summer rolls with peanut lime dipping sauce! I love these things, and as complicated and finicky as they appear to make, I’m here to convince you that they are not. In fact, I have a little confession. This is only the second time in my life that I’ve made them myself!
Summer rolls, sometimes confusingly known as fresh spring rolls, are Vietnamese in origin, and are traditionally made with a combination of pork, shrimp, various vegetables, and rice noodles. Today’s version contains shrimp only! They’re paired with a simple (shockingly addictive) homemade peanut lime dipping sauce made with unsalted peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, fresh ginger, and a touch of sriracha sauce.
Summer rolls are actually very simple, versatile, and require little to no cook time. Particularly, if you buy cooked shrimp, which minimizes prep time considerably! They also happen to be gluten-free, and are ridiculously light and refreshing. If you prepped and put all of your ingredients out in order as you use them, you could easily turn this dish into a fun, make-your-own summer roll bar for a spring or summer entertaining!
To make this version extra healthy, I made them 100% whole-grain by using both brown rice papers for the wrappers and brown rice noodles for the filling. You can’t even tell the difference!
Aside from cooked shrimp and brown rice noodles, I decided to go with a mixture of different vegetables for maximum texture and color. Thinly sliced red cabbage (you could substitute with napa cabbage), thinly sliced orange bell pepper (red or yellow will work, just don’t use green!), beautiful baby lettuce greens, and creamy avocado.
Feel free to substitute with additional vegetables (carrots, cucumber, etc.) or even leave out the shrimp, if you’d prefer to make these vegetarian. But don’t skip the fresh herbs! The fresh cilantro and mint help pull everything together.
As you can imagine, the trickiest part to making these brown rice summer rolls is, well, rolling them. However, as long as you don’t completely over stuff them, and layer your ingredients in certain order, it is relatively difficult to mess them up.
The trick is to work quickly, roll tightly, and commit. The rice papers are relatively sticky and can dry out quickly once soaked and softened, and need a delicate hand. I like to start by adding the shrimp, which are less prone to ripping the rice paper than other ingredients like peppers, etc.
Be sure to prepare your work area, have a damp paper-towel lined platter or container handy for holding the prepared rolls, and have fun with it! Then comes the best part, eating them. Enjoy!
Brown Rice Shrimp Summer Rolls with Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce
Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce:
- ½ cup unsalted creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (75 mL) warm water
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (20 mL) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
Brown Rice Summer Rolls:
- 2 ounces dried brown rice noodles
- 8 round brown rice paper wrappers plus more in case any break
- 1 lb (16 oz) cooked wild shrimp sliced lengthwise in half
- 1½ cups very thinly sliced red cabbage roughly ¼ small head of red cabbage
- 1 large orange, yellow, or red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
- 1 ripe avocado pitted and sliced
- baby red lettuce leaves
- fresh cilantro leaves
- fresh mint leaves
- Make Dipping Sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. If sauce is too thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time (and pulse). Season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary. Set aside.
- Cook the Noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the brown rice noodles according to the package instructions, drain, and rinse under cold water. Allow noodles to sit in colander and drain of any excess water while you assemble the remaining ingredients.
- Assemble Summer Rolls: Refer to this step-by-step photo post if having difficulty. Prepare your ingredients, set them out in an easily accessible manner, and have a clean counter for rolling. Set aside a larger container (or large plate), and line with a damp paper towel. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on your counter. Fill a large bowl with hot water. Working with one brown rice paper at a time, soak in the hot water (completely submerge) for at least 15 seconds in order to soften. Place wrapper, textured side up, on the kitchen towel.
- Lay 5 to 6 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up (depending on their size), in the center of the rice paper. Leave 1 to 1½-inches on both sides of the shrimp. Place a small handful of cooked (and cooled) rice noodles on top of the shrimp, top with shredded red cabbage, 2 to 3 strips of bell pepper, two slices of avocado and a baby lettuce leaf, in that order. Top with fresh cilantro leaves and fresh mint leaves.
- Fold over the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, holding the filling in place as you do so. Fold in the sides, holding filling as you do so. Holding the folds down, carefully roll the wrapper up from bottom to top, as tightly as you can without ripping. Place roll seam-side down on the platter, and cover with plastic wrap while you prepare the remaining summer rolls.
- If serving immediately, cut summer rolls in half and serve with peanut dipping sauce.
30 Comments on “Brown Rice Shrimp Summer Rolls with Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce”
Nice post. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for sharing, Laura! You gave me a perfect idea for the dinner this evening! Healthy, delicious and fast to cook and easy to clean after that!
Can I just say I love your blog and your photos and just everything. I’m in love! I think I am of the mindset – forget the kids tastes and just make what I like. I’ll let you know how that turns out! xoxoxo – thank you for all of your hard work. Excited to have found you!
Thank you so much Diane! That means so much to me!! Seriously. And YES, absolutely agree with your “forget the kids tastes” attitude, haha. Eventually they’ll come to love it, right? 🙂
Thanks for the birthday dinner recipe rescue Laura! Set-up all the prepared spring roll ingredients on the table and everyone had a blast making their own rolls. Also made marscopone stuffed strawberries, sweet cabbage and apple poppyseed salad and baked crab rolls.
So sorry about that. I hate when that happens! That sounds like so much fun! I really hope everyone enjoyed the rolls. Thank you so much for the feedback Vanessa! 🙂
Please don’t use nice cameras like this one, the photos make me hungry!
I had no idea that there were brown rice noodles or wraps! I will be looking for these after I use up what I currently have.
I am especially excited about the peanut sauce! It really makes this dish!
Thanks so much Kari! 🙂
Hooray for lucky spring rolls and for Connor matching for a orthopaedic surgery residency! I hope y’all ended up matching with the city of your dreams, whatever city that might be. (We’ve got several friends who have gone all over the country for their residencies, so I know it’s a hectic time, but how exciting!)
These rolls look FABULOUS, and I love how they’re completely whole grain with the brown rice. I’ve never made anything like this at home before, and I think it’s high time I tried it out because, well, hello. They look scrumptious!
Thanks so much Erin! We did! Connor ended up matching at his first choice, so we’ll be moving to Chicago in June! Neither of us have spent much time there, and we have no family in the area–but we’re excited nonetheless!
Let me know if you try the summer rolls! 🙂
Awww SO MUCH STRESS. I hate that they make you wait a whole week…why not just tell you right then?! I hope you’re happy with the outcome!! And will remember these summer rolls for when i’m waiting to hear about matching in two years!
These look so amazing. Now I know what has been missing from every summer roll I’ve ever eaten–AVOCADO! Doing it.
I love all the fresh and clean flavors in your summer rolls! Now that it’s finally getting to be spring again, these feel like the perfect dinner. Also – EEEEE!!! Congrats!!! I can’t wait to find out where you’ll be moving – how exciting!
Congrats on the good news! I’m sure no matter where you end up you’ll love it and make the most of it :). Also these look so good! Spring rolls are one of my favorite summer time snacks.
I made spring rolls last night as it’s been strangely warm here in LA (in the 90s). So light and refreshing! I added sliced Korean short ribs for added flavor in mine 🙂 I agree, bright colored veggies are the trick. It’s like eating a salad in a roll!
Hooray!!! That’s such great news! I am so happy for you guys. I can’t imagine that stress, and then not knowing where you’re going to end up? Yikes. But I bet it’s super exciting, too. These rolls look delicious, btw. I’ve only made spring rolls once, any they turned out kind of a mess. Yours are beautiful!
Just gorgeous! I loooooove summer rolls and I need to DIY more often rather than take the easy way out and buy them. Love the peanut-lime combo too. Want that on everything – pinned!
Oh gosh, these summer rolls look like HEAVEN. We’ve been on a summer roll kick lately and I’m obsessed with your version — red cabbage, avocado and bell peppers sound so perfect. And AHHH CONGRATS on Connor’s match!!!!! That whole match process pretty much blows my mind every time this time of year rolls around… such a nervewracking experience. So happy to hear that at least one part’s over — good luck on Friday!!!!!!!
Thanks so much Cynthia! I’m on pins and needles–we find out where tomorrow at noon!!!! So scary and exciting and insane. The match process is nuts. xo
First, I almost squealed when I saw these! SO gorgeous!! Second, congrats to Conner and yay for the two of you! This is a BIG year for you guys! So happy for you, and I’ll be on pins and needles to hear where you will be living for the next five years! Eek!!!!!
Ahhhh! I’m scared!!!!!! So much stuff is happening right now, haha! I’ll definitely share on Friday or at some point this weekend!
These are gorgeous! And congrats to you and Connor. Can’t wait to hear where you end up. So exciting! Eeeekkk!
How nerve racking!! OH man, I’d be dying!! Congrats to Conor though, that is amazing! Love these rolls, Summer rolls never let me down!
I KNOW!!!! Freaking out on the inside. Thanks so much Tieghan!
We helped resettle Vietnamese refugees in the ’60s. These were so good. I’ve been looking for a recipe ever since. Can’t wait to make them with my girls who were little then. What memories.
Amazing pictures and very detailed recipe. Great work. Everything looks so fresh and reminds me of the summer. 🙂 Oh, i got carried away.
P.S the sauce looks absolutely staggering.
We make something similar but I’ve never made that amazingly-looking peanut sauce. YUM! Can’t wait to dig in.
J’aime, j’aime, j’aime ! I love everything, the pictures, the ingredients you choose and the sauce. I too have to follow my hubby for his job so
I know how it can be stressful. Whishing you all the best for the next years.