Thai Coolers: Chicken Satay and Fresh Spring Rolls

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Summers in Seattle historically start after July 4th. You can’t bank on really hot weather until August and if you’re lucky, the warm days stretch into September. Starting mid-May this year, Seattle has had an EPIC summer of clear days and 90˚ scorchers, with no signs of letting up. While most Seattleites will be cursing the heat and begging for the rain, we both thrive in weather where we can get outside and enjoy the great Northwest scenery. (Okay, so it’s not so fun when it’s still 80˚ in your apartment at 9:00 at night, but we’ll take it!)

So far this summer, we have been to McClellan Butte, Bandera Mountain, Lake Melakwa, and Annette Lake. And that’s not counting the daily walks, runs, and occasional tennis that keep us busy. We’ve learned that if you’re going to hike in the mid-day sun (because let’s face it, we can never get out of the house before 11am!), then you better bring enough sunscreen and a ton of water. Better yet, end your hike at an alpine lake and really cool off.

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After a recent take-out order gone awry where our Thai restaurant forgot the spring rolls, we decided to make our own. Though preparation can be time-consuming, homemade spring rolls are fresh, herbaceous, and the perfect food to cool down with on hot days. Since we were going all veggie in our rolls, Elliott also whipped up a quick chicken satay recipe for the side. Here’s what we came up with!

Fresh Herb Spring Rolls:
1 package rice paper wraps
Green lettuce, torn into large pieces
1/2 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Handful of cilantro
Fresh mint

Fresh Mango & Bell Pepper Spring Rolls:
1 package rice paper wraps
Green lettuce, torn into large pieces
1/2 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 red bell pepper, thin slices
1/2 mango, sliced or diced
Handful of cilantro

Once you’ve prepped all of the ingredients, soak a rice paper wrap in a dish of warm water. On a wooden cutting board, lay the softened wrap flat and add a green leaf piece to the bottom half. Depending on which wrap you’re making, add all of the other ingredients and roll it up like a small burrito. Set on a plate and cover with a wet hand towel. Though we have made our peanut sauce from scratch in the past, we like the peanut sauce by ThaiFusions.

Chicken Satay
1 chicken breast, sliced in half and then into strips
1 small shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 inch piece of lemongrass, minced
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 lime, juiced
Thai chili to taste

Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or more. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water so they don’t burn on the grill. When it’s time to grill, cook the chicken until golden on each side and serve with the peanut sauce. Enjoy!

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The view atop Bandera Mountain.

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