3/4 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water3 tablespoons hoisin sauce2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 1/2 medium limes)4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce1 tablespoon granulated sugar2 1/4 teaspoons chile-garlic paste1 medium garlic clove, mashed to a paste1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
24 medium shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined
4 ounces dried rice stick noodles or rice vermicelli16 (8-1/2-inch) round rice paper wrappers1 cup mung bean sprouts (about 3 ounces)32 medium fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)32 fresh basil or Thai basil leaves16 small fresh cilantro sprigs2 serrano chiles, stemmed, halved, seeds removed, and thinly sliced lengthwise into 32 pieces (optional)1 medium English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-by-1/4-by-2-1/2-inch sticks3 medium scallions, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2-1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)8 Bibb lettuce leaves, cut in half
For the peanut sauce:
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
For the summer rolls:
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until bright pink and just opaque, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board.
- Holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, halve each shrimp horizontally.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Place all of the ingredients in separate containers and arrange them in the following order around a work surface: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro, serrano (if using), cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
- Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on a 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 submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the towel.
- Working quickly, lay 3 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer a scant 1/4 cup of the rice noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 2 of the mint leaves, 2 of the basil leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and 2 pieces of serrano, if using. Place 4 of the cucumber sticks and 2 of the scallion pieces on either side of the noodle pile. Roll one piece of lettuce into a cigar shape and place it on top of the noodle pile.
- 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 rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Leave 3/4 inch between each summer roll on the sheet so they don’t stick together, and replace the water in the pan or dish with hot tap water as needed.
- If not serving immediately, keep the summer rolls tightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.