Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Sometimes I get into dinner ruts where I tend to stick to the same tried tested and true recipes. It's so easy to do. You get busy and by the time dinners rolls around you gravitate towards a meal you can make with your eyes closed. Thankfully I have something to counter act the gravitational force of my favourite recipes...my blog and my husband. I can't post the same recipe over and over again, I need new material. And when we go out to dinner Shawn loves to challenge me to make a copy-cat recipe of something awesome we've had.

This happened the other evening as we were partaking in Bend Fall Festival's plethora of food carts. We picked up a couple of Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp, some yummy Deschutes Jubelale, and sat down to eat and enjoy the music. Boy were those spring rolls good! The were fresh, crisp, colourful and the mint was a welcome surprise to our palettes. Shawn challenged me to make them one day and a couple days later, craving those delicious spring rolls I had, I decided to make them myself.

The great thing about this recipe is you can use what you have and there is no cooking required except for boiling some noodles for 5 minutes. The trick to making the spring rolls look great is using a variety of colours and cutting your vegetables into thin strips; a technique called julienne.

This is not really a recipe but more of a guideline as I'm not including amounts. Just gather up what you have in the fridge and start rolling until you've made enough. We each ate three for dinner and I was so full I kind of regretted eating the third one ;-) Also they are not compete until they have been generously dunked in Peanut Sauce so make sure you whip up a batch.

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Ingredients:

  • Spring roll skins (I use Bahn Trang - a Vietnamese Product) 
  • cooked rice noodles rinsed with cold water
  • carrots (julienned)
  • cucumber (julienned)
  • red/yellow/orange bell pepper (julienned)
  • onion (thinly cut)
  • baby spinach/butter lettuce/romaine lettuce
  • fresh mint
  • shrimp/pork/chicken/beef (cooked and shredded or thinly sliced)

Directions:
  1. Fill your clean sink with some hot water and soak a spring roll skin in the hot water for about 20-30 seconds until it is soft and no longer rigid. Carefully remove and place on a clean work surface. Dab with a paper towel to remove excess water. 
  2. Add ingredients to the bottom third of the skin leaving 1 inch on either side and 2 inches on the bottom. I order the ingredients according to weight - the lighter ingredients go on the bottom and the heavier go on top of those to keep them in place. 
  3. Once the ingredients are all in place, take the remaining 1 inch on either side and fold them over each end of the ingredients. Fold the bottom up and making sure the sides stay tucked in, roll tightly up. The skin should stick and stay in place. 
  4. Place on a tray and repeat until you've made desired amount. Serve with peanut sauce

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls