Charles's "super lean, super clean" summer roll is the classic, with one variation: the addition
of aioli (a trick his mother learned working with French people in Saigon), which adds both flavor
and moisture. You can consider it an optional restaurant fillip, especially since the Peanut
Dipping Sauce achieves the same results, and in spades. The basic guidelines: Don't overfill
(as Charles says, "This isn't a burrito"), and wrap as tightly as you can really squish the
thing as you roll; this is a technique that will come to you quickly.
Use any leftover meat you have for the filling, or omit it entirely.
8 (10-inch) sheets rice paper
2 to 3 cups tender lettuce, like Boston, washed, dried, and torn
8 tablespoons (1/2 recipe) Aioli (page 244)
2 cups cooked rice vermicelli (see sidebar, page 45)
16 to 24 small slices roast pork, or leftover roast chicken
24 small fresh mint sprigs
16 shrimp, peeled, poached, and cut in half the long way
Peanut Dipping Sauce (page 247)
1. Have all the ingredients ready before you start to roll (you can make the peanut sauce after you make the rolls, if you like). Set a large pot of water on the stove and heat it until it is steaming, not boiling. Set a damp towel on a counter; dip a sheet of rice paper about one-third of the way into the water for about 2 seconds. Turn it and dip the remaining section of the rice paper and lay it on the towel.
2. Serve right away, or store the rolls, lightly covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 hours if you like. Cut straight across each roll to make 2 or 3 pieces, then serve with Peanut Dipping Sauce.