These are quite often staples at Vietnamese restaurants. They offer a really healthy alternative to the oil-fried spring rolls and are a great way to serve basically what amounts to a salad. These are great little appetizers to make up for yourself or for family/guests and take no time at all. And, while I made these vegetarian, they don't have to be at all. Quite often, they are made with shrimp and a small strip of pork. I also made this with a peanut sauce, but I've included 2 different recipes below. The first is a peanut/hoisin sauce, great for the vegetarian option. The second is a spicy fish sauce, great for the shrimp.
The first step is securing yourself some wrappers. These are basically rice wrappers which are dry and come in a plastic package like this one below (I use these). You can find these at most any Asian market like H-Mart.
|Rice roll wrappers|
Ingredients - What I used:
Iceberg Lettuce, julienned
Spring Onions (green parts, whole length of wrapper)
Sugar Snap Peas
Additional Ingredients as desired:
Cucumber, thin and cut to length of wrapper (Seedless cucumbers work best)
Fresh Thai Basil (great with shrimp)
Cooked Rice Vermicelli
Pork, sliced into strips and pre-cooked
Take one roll at a time and dip it into a wide, flat bottom bowl of warm water. Do this until it starts to become soft and pliable. It will continue to soften as you go, so don't over do it. Otherwise, it's like working with Saran wrap which has stuck together. I threw out my first 2 when they glued to each other and became a rice ball. Take it out, put it on a flat plate and begin adding your filling in a line from left to right in the middle. Generally, you fill the most with the lettuce and the vermicelli (if used). The rest of the items are used sparingly for a little flavor and color, since the wraps are translucent. Since these are wraps, though, you can put in however much you want and in whatever quantities. Rememeber, though, these wraps can be very delicate as they soften. So, don't try to turn these into a Chipotle burrito.
(Skip this if you're good with wrapping technique)
Once you are done with your filling, take the edge closest to you and wrap it over top the filling, much like wrapping a present when you're just starting. Take the two ends and fold them inward rather tightly. With a hand on either end, hold the ends in while slowly rolling the wrap toward the rest of the wrapper. Since these wraps are sticky, try to make it as tight as possible without tearing it. You won't have a chance to really un-do it if you mess up since it pretty much glues itself together.
When you're done, slice it in half and serve with either sauce below:
1 part chunky peanut butter
2 parts hoisin sauce
Whisk together the hoisin sauce and the peanut butter. Add a little water to thin out the mixture to your desired consistency. Let stand for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Top with crushed peanuts to serve.
Spicy Fish Sauce:
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white sugar (or as desired)
Garlic chili sauce (or Sriracha), to taste
Whisk all ingredients, let stand for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
|The finished product with peanut sauce|