Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #glutenfree

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #glutenfree

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perception versus reality, specifically when it comes to blogging and social media. Sometimes I’ll look back at the photos from a stop on our road trip and think, “that place looks so much more perfect than I remember it.” It’s not that the particular images in the photos weren’t dreamy—it’s that there were some moments leading up to and following those snapshots that detracted from the overall experience. No dogs allowed in National Parks (huge, huge bummer when you’re traveling with two). Crazy hot weather. Crappy accommodations that ate up our budget.

I read somewhere that it’s important not to compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel (hello, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest). But what I’m also realizing on this road trip adventure is that we also shouldn’t necessarily compare our life to our own highlight reel.

To help with this, I think I may start captioning some of my Instagram pictures with “what it looks like” and “reality”. For example, the photo of me enjoying a snack under a waterfall? Right before Aaron snapped that pic, I attempted to climb down a very steep, dusty rock and I fell flat on my ass, doing a full body slide that left me covered in dirt and with a baseball-sized bruise that’s going to last for-ev-er. It’s funny in retrospect because I was so pissed at the time, but it does still hurt to sit down.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #glutenfree

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #glutenfree

The recipe I’m sharing today is very much in line with the “what it looks like” and “reality” discrepancy. Not at all in terms of flavor—that part is rockin’ and you will want to put the peanut sauce on everything! It’s that we photographed this meal in a tiny airbnb in the basement, without a stovetop or full kitchen, on a floor I wiped down by hand and then covered with a shower curtain we picked up at a Walmart. Our camera lights kept blowing the fuse, I used the tops of a washer and dryer for counter space, and our one piece of linen was wrinkled from being crammed in the car. There was a point where Barley needed to go outside to pee and I contorted myself around this crazy setup of camera and tripod and lighting and ingredients splayed on every possible surface. We laughed about the ridiculousness of it all even in the moment.

This whole experience is teaching me to be a more go-with-the-flow, resourceful type of person, a more accessible recipe creator, and both Aaron and I are learning that having less is actually opening us up to experiencing more. Definitely not all highlight-reel and Instagram-dreamy, but each moment is meaningful in its own way, bruises and all.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #glutenfree

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #glutenfree

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Vegan, Gluten Free,

Serves: about 10 rolls


Prep Time: 30 mins

Easy vegan Vietnamese summer rolls that are light and flavorful with a peanut sauce that's so good, you'll want to make it a weekly staple. No time or patience for rolling? I feel you. Skip the rice wrappers and toss everything together in a big bowl!

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #glutenfree

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

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Ingredients

For the peanut dipping sauce:

  • 1/3 cup creamy salted peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha (or to taste)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh, peeled ginger

For the fillings:

  • 1 small bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 1/2 ounces thin rice noodles, cooked and salted
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 medium seedless cucumber, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 medium radishes, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • sea salt for seasoning the vegetables

To make the rolls:

  • 10-20 rice paper wrappers, depending on whether you double wrap the rolls
  • black sesame seeds for garnish

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free Servings: about 10 rolls

Prep Time: 30 mins

Easy vegan Vietnamese summer rolls that are light and flavorful with a peanut sauce that's so good, you'll want to make it a weekly staple. No time or patience for rolling? I feel you. Skip the rice wrappers and toss everything together in a big bowl!

Instructions

  • Combine all of the peanut sauce ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Set aside.
  • To soften the rice wrappers: fill a shallow dish with very warm water. Place each wrapper in the water until it softens, about 10-20 seconds. Carefully lift it out of the water and spread it on a cutting board or plate.
  • To assemble the wraps, layer a few of the mint and cilantro leaves in the center of the wrappers. Top with a few rice noodles, followed by a layer of the remaining sliced vegetables. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and black sesame seeds.
  • To roll up the summer rolls: fold the top then bottom edges of the wrapper over the filling, then fold over the left and right edges towards the center. It should be snug, but try not to rip the wrappers. If the rolls are a bit messy (as mine usually are!), you can wrap the roll in a second wrapper using the same method. This makes for a tighter and neater-looking roll. Repeat this process with the remaining wrappers and filling ingredients. You may need to change your water partway through to make sure it stays warm.
  • Serve the rolls with lots of peanut sauce for dipping and extra sriracha if you like them spicy!

Notes [1]

Peanut sauce adapted from my vegan Thai lettuce wraps.

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Jackie says

    Hey Lady! I hope you’re okay! Its no fun to take a spill and then have to hike back afterwords. I totally feel you on the online highlight reel thing. Its so easy to look at all the beautiful (and soooooo staged) photos on people’s social accounts and feel like your life doesn’t measure up somehow. Thanks for the summer rolls recipe. They are definitely getting made!

  2. Kait says

    I’m legit confused how those photos came from the description you provided. I kept trying to look at it based on what you wrote and just don’t see basement! 😉

    Truth time: how much work is it to “get the hang of” working with rice paper? I’m so intimidated by it but always wants to make spring rolls!

    Lastly- hope your ass is ok!

    1. Amanda says

      I’m glad you don’t see basement! I have a photo I was planning to share on IG of our set up, but then I didn’t want to muck up my feed. 😉 Maybe I’ll share it.

      Rice paper is delicate and there’s a small learning curve; however, even the mess ups taste good! Also, it’s cheap so no worries about needing a few rounds to figure it out. I’d say get some of the larger sized ones since they’re easier to roll/not over-stuff, and the whole rolling it twice (check out the recipe instructions) is a life-saver for me when it comes to presentation. You’ve got this!

  3. Bianca says

    I also have a recipe for summer rolls on my website, but these pictures are really stunning!!! Great job!

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Bianca! I’ll have to check out your recipe.

  4. I just loved reading this post, Amanda. Hooray for more “real life” pics and for inspiring me to do the same. Your comments on our “highlight reel” are all too true. I’m so happy for all that you and Aaron are learning and growing in together on this trip. Its beyond inspiring and heart warming. Hugs to you both! (**and hopefully a quick bum healing!**)

    1. Amanda says

      Aww, thanks Jessie. Hugs right back at you! The “highlight reel” thing can be such a slippery slope–so important to remember that not every moment should be a highlight! It’s just way too much pressure and also, it’s the grittier moments that make the highlights that much sweeter! <3

  5. Rosanna says

    Your journey has made anxious to learn where you are and what you are up to.. I feel like you are taking us with you.. I can’t wait for the next post and please share all the goods and bads, everything at the end is a life lesson..! I’ve always wanted to visit Seattle and hope we can make that trip soon adding Oregon and Vancouver to the mix!

    1. Amanda says

      You leave the sweetest comments, Rosanna. Thank you! Try to visit Seattle if you can–it’s a GREAT city. I think I’d want to live there if it wasn’t so overcast most of the time. We’ll be exploring the Oregon coast next, and we’d love to come back at some point to see Vancouver. We ruled out Canada thinking it would be too hard to take the dogs back and forth across the border, but after doing more research that actually seems not too bad.

  6. We always hear about people comparing themselves to other people on social media, but rarely does anyone talk about comparing yourself to your own “highlight reel”. I will definitely do that to myself – I’ll look back on old instagram pics and think, “I was having so much more fun back then, what the heck am I doing with myself now??” That sort of comparative thinking is destructive and I really appreciate you bringing it to light. We all need to step back and put things into perspective every once in a while 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      What you said about looking at old photos and thinking you were having so much more fun–YES. I do that too! It’s a bit of selective memory most of the time and so so much of it is our attitude and perspective now. Depending on my mood, I can look at the exact same pic and feel totally different emotions. It’s something I feel like I regularly need to be aware of/keep in check. <3

  7. What are you saying? These pictures look absolutely incredible! I’m loving the lighting and how delicious all the food looks (plus that sauce mmm I want it!). But I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said.
    Have a great day Amanda! x

    1. Amanda says

      Thank you, Consuelo! I’m glad you like the photos and they don’t read “basement”. 😉 It’s always a challenge working in new (and often tiny) spaces, but I think it’s stretching us to get better each time. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Your food photography is wonderful!! Love the recipe!

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Pheobe!

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