It doesn’t seem, at first, very exciting that this craved creation isn’t even from a restaurant (it’s from a chain grocery store), but when something is good. Something is good.
Considering my office at work is across the street from a Wegmans supermarket, I find myself there for lunch pretty often. I usually get something random from their cafe — the wokery, a sub, pizza, a salad, a soup sushi…if they offer it, I’ve probably had it at least once or twice.
Most of the food is fairly decent considering the convenience of it all, but one thing I actually find myself craving all the time is their avocado summer roll, found by the sushi.
It’s essentially veggies wrapped up in a roll (i.e. rice paper), which — truth be told — is really the delivery vehicle for the sweet chili sauce that accompanies it. The sauce is first sweet, then sour, then spicy. It’s the perfect trifecta that makes my taste buds do a little happy dance when I indulge!
Considering the summer roll is fairly straightforward, at least in terms of ingredients, I took the sweet chili sauce as the challenge when making this craved creation. I have never attempted a sauce like this before, so leveraging the ingredient list from Wegmans and this basic recipe from about.com, I was able to finagle a pretty close replica!
It certainly tasted close to the one I so frequently crave, but in retrospect, I would have toned down the amount of pineapple I used. I adjusted my recipe to account for this though.
Now, because it’s not customary to just eat spoonfuls of sauce, I next had to assemble the rolls.
I had never used rice paper before, but it was kind of easy and fun to work with. When first out of the package it’s hard and not very flexible, but a few seconds in some hot water and it loosens right up, ready for rolling!
You could mix and match the veggies as you’d like, but I would at least keep the lettuce, as it helps neatly secure the other chopped up vegetables. Other than that though, feel free to get creative.
I made a total of 4 rolls and two were rolled great and looked store-bought; but, the other two… errrr not so much. My advice per lessons learned:
- Don’t overfill the wrapper with the vegetables or it will get a little unwieldy when it comes time to “roll.”
- Be patient. After I made two rolls, I felt like I was a pro at the art of the roll (logically), so I moved more quickly with the last two and ended up making ugly, oddly-shaped rolls. I obviously did not want photo evidence of this so I can’t show you what I mean, but trust me, they weren’t pretty — be patient, work with care.
- Don’t wait too long to work with the wrapper after they are softened. If you wait too long (as I did with one of the wrappers) they get a little bit sticky and hard to handle, and that’s when holes and things start to appear. Not good. Soften and work with only one at a time.
If you don’t have a Wegmans market near you, or you’re just feeling adventurous, try my recipe for fresh, crisp avocado summer rolls and sweet chili sauce!