A stackable, dip-able salad roll is a wonderful meal on a hot day.
When a salad becomes pick-up-able and DIP-ABLE, you’re in for a whole new level of crunchy, refreshing, satisfying, dip-in-glorious-sauce glee. Ready in just minutes, this makes a great lunch, snack or dinner on a hot day.
The perfectly organized bundles of crunchy, juicy, refreshing salad and savory shrimp are fun to pick up and dip, dip, dip in the nutty/zingy tahini and ginger sauce.
The most labor intensive part of making this dish will be the chopping of the vegetables. If you want to bypass chopping vegetables at all, you can use a bagged salad with a good combination of greens and shredded carrots or beets.
My favorite combination of vegetables for these little salad rolls are:
Romaine Lettuce, shredded
Carrots, cut in to matchsticks
Red pepper slices
Green onion, split vertically, then cut into matchsticks
and lastly, sliced avocado
Vietnamese rice paper is what makes this salad pick-up-able and dip-able. You can find Vietnamese rice paper in Asian markets, or on Amazon. It lasts for a long time on the shelf and is affordable.
A quick, five second dip in water is all rice paper needs to become pliable.
The trick in working with rice paper is to remember that they only need five seconds in room temperature water to reconstitute. I know it’s easy to assume that the water should be warm or hot, or that they should sit in water for a long time.
When you take the rice paper out of the water after only five seconds, it will still feel “plastiky”. Place it on a cutting board and as you work it will continue to absorb moisture and soften.
A small stack of vegetables is all you need to make a roll. I start with lettuce, then add the rest, one on top of the other.
I give it a good firm squeeze and roll over once, then place the shrimp alongside the formed roll, then keep rolling, tucking in the edges as I go.
I’ve found that this method anchors the shrimp in place, and looks nice too.
You can scale the quantity of rolls as large or small as you want. Four rolls are a standard serving for most adults. They are best eaten immediately, but they will keep in the fridge for one day. If you find that the skin is sticky, spray with a little oil. If you plan on stacking the rolls, spraying with oil is advised.
Now, the dip.
Tahini is to sesame seeds as peanut butter is to peanuts. Tahini is the “butter” of sesame seeds. It’s a staple in my home. I use it all the time in dips, as a key ingredient in hummus, and even in some confections.
The secret to making a smooth tahini dipping sauce is to vigorously whisk in ICE WATER before you add any more ingredients. The ice water does something magical to tahini. It separates the particles of fats and solids from each other. It’s almost as if it changes the tahini to something else entirely. If you don’t whisk in ICE cold water, your sauce will separate, be oily and creepy/clumpy.
After you’ve whipped in ice water and the tahini has become smooth and creamy, add the other ingredients. This sauce is a beautiful combination of specialty ingredients I’ve curated for my kitchen over the years. I prefer avocado oil in this sauce, but olive oil will do nicely too.
Chinese black vinegar is a secret ingredient that really rounds out the flavor of this sauce. I highly recommend adding Chinese black vinegar to your kitchen. You’ll be amazed at the depth of flavor it ads to all your Asian-inspired dishes.
Soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin are also added to this sauce for a truly distinctive taste. I highly recommend adding all these specialty ingredients to your kitchen. The mirin and rice vinegar are ingredients I discovered whilst living in Okinawa, Japan. I use them in many of my recipes now.
Fresh ginger is a must. I use a thumb-size piece of ginger, slice off the skin….
And grate it down with a plane grater. I use my plane grater all the time for making sauces, marinades and desserts.
Grate down a couple garlic cloves as well.
And lastly, add honey.
It’s REALLY delicious. This makes both an excellent lunch or snack – or a showpiece appetizer dish for a dinner party. The sauce recipe makes enough for over a dozen rolls, and can be refrigerated and used later as salad dressing – it’s divine.
Thanks for visiting my food blog!
Rice Paper Shrimp and Salad Wraps with Tahini and Ginger Dipping Sauce
- 12 Vietnamese Rice Paper Wraps
- 1 bunch Romaine Lettuce
- 2 carrots
- 2 green onions
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1-2 avocados
- 3 dozen cooked shrimp, tail off
Tahini and Ginger Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated finely
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and grated finely
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Chopping the vegetables: Shred the lettuce, cut the carrots and green onion into match sticks, slice the red bell pepper and peel and slice the avocado.
- Make sure your shrimp is cool, and the tail is off. I buy frozen shrimp and boil it until it turns pink (it takes only a couple minutes). Then take the tails off and chill in refrigerator before using.
- To reconstitute the rice paper, submerge one paper at time in room temperature water for five seconds and place flat on a cutting board. Use immediately.
- Working one-at-a-time, stack small arrangements of vegetables on your rice paper. I start with the lettuce then stack the other vegetables on top of each other. Fold rice paper over just the vegetables, give it a squeeze, then place a line of three shrimp up against the partially formed roll. Fold sides over and roll up completely.
- If you plan on stacking the rolls, be sure to spray with oil or a nonstick spray. These are best eaten immediately, but can be stored in the refrigerator for one day.
Tahini and Ginger Dipping Sauce
- Pour tahini into a small bowl. Whisk ice cold water into the tahini. It will seize up initially. Keep whisking and it will relax into a smooth cream.
- Add the avocado oil, black vinegar, soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar. Whisk well
- Peel and grate both the ginger and the garlic. Add the tahini sauce and whisk well.
- Lastly, add the honey. I find that 2 tablespoons is a good amount, but you should taste it and see if you'd like your sauce to be sweeter.
- Serve and enjoy! This sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and is excellent as a salad dressing!