NOTES: Serve these rolls with a purchased peanut sauce for dipping.
Prep and cook time: 45 minutes
3 1/2 ounces (half of a 7-oz. pkg.) thin rice noodles
1 red bell pepper (6 oz.), rinsed
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla)
2 tablespoons sweet Asian chili sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
12 ounces shelled cooked shrimp (31 to 40 per lb.), tails removed
8 ounces shredded cooked chicken
6 ounces mixed baby greens, rinsed and crisped
1 English cucumber (10 oz.), rinsed, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced into half-moons
2 carrots (8 oz. total), peeled and shredded
1 cup each loosely packed fresh mint leaves and fresh cilantro
12 to 18 rice-paper wrappers (bánh tráng; 8 in. wide)
How to Make It
In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Add rice noodles, stir to separate, and cook until tender to bite, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water until cool, and drain again. Using scissors, cut noodles into about 3-inch lengths.
Meanwhile, stem and seed bell pepper; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices, then crosswise into 2-inch lengths. In a small bowl, stir together fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, and lime juice.
Mound rice noodles in the center of a large platter. Drizzle 1 tablespoon fish sauce mixture over noodles, then sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Mound bell pepper, shrimp, chicken, greens, cucumber slices, shredded carrots, mint, and cilantro around noodles.
Pour 1 inch hot tap water into a large, shallow bowl. Submerge rice-paper wrappers, one or two at a time, until flexible and tender, about 30 seconds. Carefully remove and let drain briefly; stack on a plate.
Offer platter of fillings for diners to assemble their own summer rolls, with remaining fish sauce mixture alongside for dipping. To roll, add desired fillings in a strip across center of a wrapper; fold in sides over filling, then roll up tightly from the edge closest to you, like a burrito.