We caught up with Katonah resident Saykham Souphanya for this crisp and refreshing Laotian summer roll recipe. Saykham is an assistant controller for a private real estate management firm, as well as a wife and mother of two who originally grew up in Laos. Even though she left this beautiful Southeast Asian country many years ago, she still proudly represents her culture every single day – especially in the kitchen!
These Laotian summer rolls are great on warm evenings over a chilled bottle of wine and some good friends. Perfect as a finger food or to compliment any dinner, these will be a crowd favorite again and again. And don’t let the name fool you – they may be called “summer rolls” but they are popular in any season, whether it’s a hot summer night or you just wish it was.
16 6-inch rounds rice paper
1 lb. cooked shrimp, deveined and peeled, cut each in half lengthwise
1 cup red or green cabbage thinly sliced or chopped
2 cups Rice vermicelli cooked and drained
2 carrots julienned or cut into thin even strips
1 cucumber julienned or cut int thin even strips
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh Thai basil leaves
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ cup scallions chopped
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
1-2 teaspoon chili-garlic paste
1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
½ cup of water
Salt to taste
Dip a sheet of rice paper into a bowl with very hot water and turn all away around to get the rice paper soft. Then lay on a large cutting board or plate.
From 1/3 of the top of the rice paper, place 3-4 pieces of cooked shrimp layering on top of each other, sliced side up. You want the nice shrimp side exposed one it’s all rolled up. Add a small amount of rice noodles and then carrots, cucumber, and cabbage. Spread the remaining herbs on top, place 1-3 mint leaves neatly on top. You also don’t want to over fill as it will be tough to roll. Like folding a burrito, fold the top over, roll once while tucking in all the ingredients. Fold the sides in and roll the rest of the way down. And repeat to make as many as you like.
Dipping sauce, blend sugar in ½ cup of water, add fish sauce chili garlic sauce, add salt to taste. Add crushed peanut, chopped cilantro to dipping sauce.
And serve with lime wedges on the side. You can substitute any of the ingredients to make it Vegetarian or Vegan.
Justin is a designer and photographer. He creates the look of a company – designing logos, posters, color schemes, websites, and marketing materials. Sexy stuff like that. He wrote a book on design called, um, “On Design“. Justin is also a photographer of people, events, architecture, products, food, and cars he can’t afford.