Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shion's Summer Rolls

A couple years ago, Eli and I went to my highschool friend Kim's house for dinner. She made these delicious summer rolls that I still rave about to-this-day! She stole the recipe from The W, where she used to work, and shared it with me.

This is another great summertime recipe because you don't have to turn on the oven or stand in front of the stove for that long. The key ingredients are the sweet chili sauce and spring roll skins, which you can find in most asian food markets.

I ended up not using any of the ingredients that Kim had used but instead, used it as inspiration to make my own. I call it "dump everything in the fridge into wrappers" summer rolls...

As per usual, I had an idea of what I would put in my summer rolls and found that I revised some of the ingredients depending on what I had in the fridge and what had gone bad (ie: carrot). I had originally planned on putting spinach into the recipe to up the nutritional value but used cabbage instead because it looks like it was on the verge of going bad...

spring roll wrappers (about 10 maybe)
sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce (also can be found in asian food market)
red bell pepper
1/4 of a head of cabbage
2 japanese cucumbers
canned water chesnuts

any brand will work, but this is what i got

It's kind of opaque or cloudy when dry but when you soak them in
water, which you have to do for this recipe, it becomes see-through.

They're very thin but pretty stiff.

Here's the sweet chili sauce I used. It was delicious!
When Eli and I made them, the sauce was a bit too much
on the spicy side, but this one was perfect! I guess the more
light colored it is, the sweeter?


Tear rotisserie chicken into long strips. If you don't have already cooked chicken, you can cook it any way you want (bake, boil, saute, grill...etc.) and then shred into strips. Saute with about a Tablespoon of Oyster Sauce just so the sauce is absorbed (2 mins). If you don't have Oyster Sauce on hand and don't want to buy it just for this recipe since you only need a little of it, a great alternative is to just saute it in a little soy sauce and garlic or teriyaki sauce.

Also to note, if you don't want to put chicken in, you can just leave it out and have it be purely vegetables, or you can use shrimp! Kim made it with shrimp and it was very yummy! If I didn't have a whole chicken sitting in the fridge and if I was more confident cooking seafood, I would have used shrimp.

Cut veggies into thin strips and try to keep them all the same length.

I then made stations for assembly. The very right is where I started. I soaked the wrappers in a little water for about 30 seconds (making sure all of it was fully submerged) before putting it onto the left plate. Pile the veggies onto the wrapper - being VERY gentle so you don't rip the wrapper.

You can see why it helps to keep the veggies all one length, so that wrapping it all up is much easier and you have room to fold all the sides together.

And there you have it!

I easily ate about four of these :)

Some helpful hints when making summer rolls:

-come to terms with the fact that not all of the summer rolls will be perfect looking. and yes, i am talking to myself right now.
-do not plan on making these when you are famished. it will take you AT LEAST 30 minutes to make.
-be very gentle with the wrappers because they rip very easily, especially when wrapping them around raw, crunchy vegetables. in fact, check the unsoaked wrappers before you soak them because some come with holes already!
-Kim tells me that they keep overnight but to make sure it's in an airtight container and it stays moist.

These are not only delicious but obviously very healthy. It's also great for the heat because you can use veggies like cucumbers and lettuce, which has a lot water in it - it'll feed you AND keep you hydrated! You can use almost any type of vegetables for these summer rolls.

Kim's ingredients:
shrimp cooked in oyster sauce
glass noodles (GREAT addition)
basil? or was it parsley?

There are so many combinations you can use, so be creative and enjoy!


  1. I was in K-town so I bought wrappers since your post has had me craving these for the last few days!

  2. Great post - such easy to follow instructions. I'm excited to try this!