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Peanut Sauce

3 Tbsp. smooth or crunchy peanut butter, no-sugar-added

3-5 Tbsp. water

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce

1/2 tsp. hot sauce, optional

Spring Rolls

18 frozen, cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, about 6 ounces

4 cups water in a sauce pan

1 cup fresh cilantro, stems discarded

1 carrot, peeled, shredded

1 small cucumber, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, into 1/8 inch slices and then into thin matchsticks 2-3 inches long

1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then into 1/8 inch slices and then into thin matchsticks 2-3 inches long

1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts

1 cup fresh mint, stems discarded

3 lettuce leaves, (any variety but iceberg, due to firmer texture), cut in half 6 8 1/2-inch dried round rice paper wrappers

Combine the peanut butter, 3 tablespoons of water, garlic, Hoisin sauce and hot sauce (optional) in a small bowl. Mix with a fork, cover and microwave for 20-30 seconds (don’t go longer or it could bubble over and make a mess). Remove from microwave and mix well.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the sauce to get a less thick texture. Thaw the shrimp and set aside in a bowl or plate.

Place the cilantro leaves, mint leaves, mung bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber and lettuce leaves each in separate bowls or plates. Arrange them in the following order around a large cutting board or other flat surface: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, cilantro, zucchini, cucumbers, carrot, bean sprouts, mint, and lettuce.

Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on your work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely cover the wrapper with water until it is soft and pliable, about 15-30 seconds. Remove from the water and place it on the towel, keeping it as flat and unwrinkled as possible.

Working quickly, lay 3 shrimp half an inch apart in a horizontal row in the middle of the wrapper.

Lay a cilantro sprig on the shrimp, then add 1 tablespoon zucchini and 1 tablespoon cucumber over the shrimp, followed by 1 tablespoon carrot, a small handful of bean sprouts (about 2 tablespoons), 2-3 mint leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and half a lettuce leaf. Be sure and spread these evenly over 3-4 inches, with the matchstick vegetables lining up, so they don’t make holes in the delicate rice wrapper and the spring roll has a uniform shape when done.

Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding the whole thing firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in.

Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top.

Turn the roll so that the seam faces down and the row of shrimp faces up. Place it on a dish or plastic container and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Leave 1/4 inch between each spring roll on the sheet so they don’t stick together.

Replace the water in the pan or dish with hot tap water as needed. If you are not eating them right away, store them on a dish or in a plastic container that’s roomy enough to hold them without touching. Place a damp paper towel over them to keep the rolls moist. Cover with plastic wrap or the container cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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