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Senegalese Summer Rolls with Peanut Ginger Sauce

Submitted by West Africa Cooks on Thu, 2015-08-20 19:15


4 Servings
SourceReprinted from Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl by Pierre Thiam with Jennifer Sit
Prep time
Cooking time
Total time


This recipe is obviously inspired by the classic Vietnamese summer roll, writes Pierre Thiam in his book, "Senegal." Senegal saw a wave of Vietnamese immigrants around the time of the First Indochina War while Vietnam and Senegal were both still under French colonial rule. Nems, our take on fried Vietnamese spring rolls, are a beloved staple on many Senegalese menus.

Here is a vegetarian option with grilled eggplant, mango, carrot and lots of fresh herbs.

Be sure to have all your ingredients ready before you start rolling. If you make these ahead of time, store them on a damp towel in a covered container. Don't let the rolls touch each other or else they'll stick together.

Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl. Order now (US Only)


3⁄4 cups
unsweetened smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon
grated fresh ginger (peeled)
2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon
lime juice
3⁄4 cups
soy sauce
1 teaspoon
vietnamese or thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon
tamarind paste
1 clove
garlic (minced)
1⁄2 teaspoon
toasted sesame oil
1⁄2 teaspoon
cayenne pepper
Japanese eggplants (medium)
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
round rice paper wrappers (8½-inch)
1 bunch
mint (leaves only)
1 bunch
cilantro (leaves only)
ripe mango (peeled and cut into ¼-by-2-inch pieces)
kirby cucumber (peeled and cut into ¼-by-2-inch pieces)
3 gallons
green onions (cut lengthwise into 2-inch pieces)
carrot (peeled, coarsely grated)
head boston lettuce leaves


Preheat grill or a grill pan to hot.

1. Prepare peanut sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. If you’d like a slightly thinner sauce, add a few more tablespoons water.

2. Prepare rolls:Trim eggplant and cut it lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with the olive oil and grill until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Let cool. Cut eggplant into ½-by 2-inch pieces.

3. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on a plate or cutting board. Fill a wide bowl with warm water (the bowl should be large enough to dip the wrappers in).

4. Immerse a wrapper in the warm water 5 to 10 seconds, until wrapper is pliable. Carefully lay it flat on the towel. In center of wrapper, place, in turn, a few leaves each of the mint, basil and cilantro. Add a few pieces each of the mango, grilled eggplant, cucumber and green onion and a large pinch of grated carrot. Be careful not to overfill the wrapper.

5. To roll up wrapper, fold in left and right sides over the filling. Take edge closest to you and tightly roll away from you, from bottom to top, like a cigar. Set roll seam side down on a platter or baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap as you repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

6. Serve immediately with lettuce leaves and peanut sauce on the side. To eat, wrap a lettuce leaf around a summer roll and dip in the peanut sauce.


Makes 16 rolls
Ingredients above
Peanut ginger sauce: starts with
¾ cup unsweetened smooth peanut butter

Rolls: starts with
2 medium Japanese eggplants

Reprinted from Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl by Pierre Thiam with Jennifer Sit (Lake Isle Press, 2015). © Pierre Thiam
Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl published 2015 and Yolele! Recipes From the Heart of Senegal both by Pierre Thiam.

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