Sunday, August 5, 2007

Vietnamese spring rolls

Vietnamese spring rolls are great appetizers and seem to be very popular during summer days. They take so little time to make and their ingredients are so refreshing. They can be dipped in a tangy peanut sauce or a spicy fish sauce. They can also keep for a good 2-3 days in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for afternoon snacks. And they'll still be fresh.

Recipe "au pif" for the spring rolls:
1 lb of Chinese BBQ'd pork (local Asian grocery stores or restaurants), or grilled chicken
12 medium-sized shrimps marinated in 3/4 tsp of fish sauce, then grilled or boiled
fresh mint leaves

fresh Roman lettuce leaves (stems removed)
1 small bowl of rice vermicelli (local Asian grocery stores) - cook by soaking in very hot water for 3 minutes
Medium-sized rice paper (local Asian grocery storesWide and deep dish filled with hot water to soak rice paper in
Soak a rice paper in dish of hot water for 2 seconds and place immediately on cutting board or a small towel. Let it sit until the rice paper is soft.
On rice paper, place a Roman lettuce leaf (1/3 the size of the rice paper), 2 pieces of BBQ'd pork, 1-2 shrimps, 2 mint leaves, a bit of vermicelli and you're ready to roll!
Repeat the above steps until you run out of ingredients. Should make 8 to 10 spring rolls.

Tips to roll: keep the roll tight and firm by pressing gently towards you with your fingers, as you roll.

Recipe "au pif" for the tangy peanut sauce:
3 tbsp smooth and creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp Hoisin sauce (local Asian grocery stores)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp chili paste (local Asian grocery stores)
1 tsp garlic paste (or garlic clove mashed to a paste)
lime juice
2 tbsp water (more if desired to make it less thick)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until creamy. Add more water to give the sauce a more liquid texture. This sauce can keep for a good week in the refrigerator without spoiling.

Recipe "REALLY au pif" for the dipping spicy fish sauce:
2 1/4 cup water - to taste
1/4 cup fish sauce - to taste
2 tbsp lime or lemon juice (or white vinegar) - to taste
2 tbsp sugar - to taste
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced hot chili peppers (or red chili pepper flakes)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
This sauce can keep for a good month in the refrigerator without spoiling!

And you're ready to dip and devour!

No comments: