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Surf and Turf Summer Rolls

These iconic Vietnamese rolls look intimidating to make, but can be a breeze if you plan a bit ahead with your veggie prep. While I love using wild caught fresh shrimp as the classic protein here, I thought as an appetizer for a crowd that adding a 'turf' inspired roll would be a tasty companion to the 'surf' themed summer roll. Marinating the thinly sliced beef ahead of time will keep it tender as you cook it, and of course a savory dipping sauce to round out the spread adds more flavor and complexity. To keep ingredient lists as minimal as possible, I like a simple sesame-soy combo for dunking, but if you feel adventurous a spicy peanut dipping sauce with a little fish sauce and Sriracha would be incredible. Serves 4 as an appetizer.


  • 12 oz. shaved beef steak, or thinly sliced round steak

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, plus more for serving

  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce

  • 12 raw shrimp (21/30's)

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns

  • 1 cucumber, halved and cut into sticks

  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into strips

  • 2 oz. leafy greens, like bibb or green leaf lettuce

  • bunch of cilantro leaves, stems removed

  • 1 package rice paper wrappers (about a dozen)

  • 2 Tbsp black or white sesame seeds, for garnish

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Start by preparing the proteins: for the shrimp, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, marinate the thinly sliced beef. In a shallow dish, add the sliced steak, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and freshly cracked black pepper. Toss to combine and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

  2. Set aside a small ice water bath for the shrimp. Once the water comes to a boil, add the shrimp, the halved lemon, and the peppercorns. Cook for about 3 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked shrimp to the ice water bath. Once cool enough to handle, peel and devein the shrimp to prepare for the rolls.

  3. Now remove the beef from the fridge and cook the steak. In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, sauté the marinated steak for about 1-2 minutes, flipping halfway through until evenly browned and cooked thoroughly. Transfer to a dish to prepare for rolling with the veggies.

  4. Create a simple assembly line of the remaining ingredients for easy rolling: the cucumber sticks, the bell peppers, scallions, avocado slices, leafy greens, and cilantro leaves.

  5. For the rice paper wrappers, filling a pie dish with warm water works best for softening the wrappers for rolling. Follow instructions on the package and only soak for about 20-30 seconds, using both hands to pull from the water and lay flat beside your other ingredients.

  6. Start with pieces of the beef, adding a few bell peppers, torn lettuce leaves, avocado and scallion slices. Season with some sesame seeds, salt, pepper, and a small squeeze of lime, then fold the top, then the bottom of the rice paper, and roll from one side tightly to seal all ingredients. Set aside.

  7. Do the same with the shrimp, working with one rice paper at a time to maintain a soft texture, and use whichever ingredients you'd like: 2 shrimp, avocado, cucumber, torn lettuce, and cilantro leaves.

  8. Serve whole or either cut in half with the remaining lime wedges, and pour a small dish of soy sauce for dipping. Keep a bottle of Sriracha on the side for a little kick of heat, and enjoy your surf and turf summer roll spread!

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