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Vietnamese Spring Rolls

30 Oct

After a friend was seriously injured in my apartment in Washington, I spent the night in the hospital and went straight to work. The last thing I wanted after my shift was to go back to the place of the accident. I was graciously invited to have dinner with a Vietnamese family and the meal is something I’ve never forgotten.

They served a family-style spring roll meal-there were rice noodles, bean sprouts, chopped herbs, stacks of wrappers, and a table-top stove for cooking meats. After everyone arrived, we sat down and the fun began. Each person would dip their wrapper in a bowl of warm water, swirl, and the top with any of the ingredients-roll them all up in the wrapper and devour. I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore and slept like a baby in the car ride home.

Spring rolls usually involve shrimp or shredded pork in some way, but I think they’re even more delicious without those ingredients. After you get used to soaking the wrappers, this is an easy, delicious, and mostly raw lunch.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cilantro, stems removed (you can include thai basil or mint as well)
  • 1 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeds and skin removed, julienned
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 head of romaine (alternatively, about 1 1/2 cups spinach)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Bahn Trang-Rice Paper Wrappers

For Sauce

  • 1/2-1 cup water (or soymilk)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp tahini (optional)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili paste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional, for flavor)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced

Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Directions:

1. Combine sauce ingredients in small sauce pan on low heat. I only used about 1/2 soymilk because I like my sauce thick. You can use coconut milk instead. Stir occasionally while prepping vegetables. Shred carrots, julienne cucumber, slice avocado, tear romaine into smaller pieces, and wash beans sprouts.

2. Dip a wrapper in warm water for about 10 seconds. I usually just run my wrapper under running water and coat both sides. You can alternatively have a large bowl/sauce pan/pie pan full of warm water and submerge the wrapper. You don’t want it to get too soft, because while you’re laying ingredients on, it will continue to soften.

3. Lay wrapper on a separate plate and layer ingredients about 1/3 of the way up. Begin with herbs (cilantro, basil, mint, green onion), then lettuce, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber, and avocado.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls

4. The wrapper should be soft enough to roll now. Fold each side towards the middle, and roll like a burrito. Repeat until ingredients are gone. If a wrapper breaks, you can wet another wrapper and roll the first one up inside of it.

5. Serve with sauce.Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I like to change up my ingredients based on my mood and what’s in season. I usually use thin rice vermicelli instead of bean sprouts, which is pictured above. I also use sliced mango when I want something a little more sweet. You can use different types of lettuce and different vegetables according to your own tastes, or even add shrimp or tofu. Be creative!

 

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

 

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3 Responses to “Vietnamese Spring Rolls”

  1. Asian Vegan Eats October 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I attempted to make rolls with rice paper before. But everything ended up sticking together, or the rice paper breaks apart. Do you have tips on making a perfect rice paper roll?

    • avocadosandales October 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

      I never let my rice paper get too wet before rolling it. It will seem like it won’t roll, but it will soften after you put the toppings on. Also, using two layers of rice paper can make breaking less of a problem. And practice!!

      • Asian Vegan Eats October 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

        Thank you~~~~ I will keep on practice and trying. Hoping I’ll make spring rolls as good as yours next time. 🙂

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