Instead, we merrily rolled down the path of make-your-own Summer Rolls.
Unlike the Super Bowl, everyone was happy. This turned out to be a genius plan since the Summer Rolls were light yet satisfying and readily available whenever the urge struck.
The entire spread was fairly easy to assemble, since it was mostly fresh salad ingredients that required no cooking. Lettuce, carrots, avocado, mint, cilantro, and basil were sliced and shredded ahead and placed in bowls.
A day ahead, we went to our local Asian market to pick-up packaged pre-cut thinly sliced lean beef along with a couple pounds of fresh shrimp for a quick blast of heat on the grill.
There were plenty of condiments to satisfy individual tastes including wasabi, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and a couple of dipping sauces: a hoisin flavored peanut sauce and a lighter Sriracha (hot chili-garlic sauce) blended with Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese fish sauce).
We also had pre-softened and drained rice noodles on hand, but vermicelli noodles are another popular alternative.
We even had a funky rice paper holder replete with its own water bath. You simply dip the dry rice paper in the water tank, give it a quick spin, and in no time it’s a softened skin, ready to roll. No muss, no fuss.
There was a grill station set up for each person to grill their own slices of beef/and or shrimp to order.
The good news is that kids of all ages love to create their own rolls and they even seem to include plenty of salad fixings without flinching.