Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recipe - Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

If you happen to be keeping a garden you may have an abundance of spinach on hand. These rolls are great for using your fresh spinach up.
You can switch out ingredients for this recipe to whatever you have on hand but this is a quick and dirty basic recipe for these wonderfully refreshing rolls.

Things you'll need for the Spring Rolls:

Rice Spring Roll Wrappers/Skins (not the frozen kind that you would use for Filipino Lumpia - that's a whole different recipe.)

Shrimp Any Size - Cooked, shelled and deveined. (I find it easiest to use larger shrimp that have been butterflied. But I have used local small shrimp (often called salad shrimp) many times and they are just as good.)

I was able to find these at my local Uwajimaya Asian Grocer. If you are a vegetarian you can just omit the shrimp and go heavy on the greens & veggies.

Dried Rice Noodles - Being half Asian these type of noodles are like spaghetti to me. I always have them. If you are not familiar with them you may have walked by them if you have an ethnic isle in your grocery store. They go by various names like maifun, rice sticks, pancit bihon. They are spindly looking noodles that look like threads. They are inexpensive and you can do bazillion things with them.
I used Filipino style Pancit Bihon noodles for this.

Leafy Greens -  As I mentioned above fresh spinach is great for this. You can use lettuces (which I used the day I made these.) Boy choy greens (tops) or even napa cabbage green (tops) if you like an extra crunch.

Mung Bean Sprouts - Again you can use regular bean sprouts but if I could urge you to seek out and try something new, give mung bean sprouts a try. They are deliciously crispy and are fun to snack on. My kids will eat an entire package of them.

Optional Ingredients -
You can matchstick up a carrot or two.
Thai Basil

Things to have on hand -  2 large bowls of cold water. (Like a mixing bowl)

First you'll want to soak your rice noodles in water to soften them up. (You may need to wait a few minutes for this to happen.)
In your second bowl of water you'll lightly soak your wrappers.
Just soak them long enough so they become pliable.

Lay it out on your counter and add your mung bean sprouts and softened noodles:
Mung bean sprouts
Rice noodles added (I know its hard to see - white on white stuff.)
Add your greens (and other optional ingredients) and your shrimp too:

Then all you do is fold over the bottom of your circle (think rolling a burrito but leaving one end open.) And then starting at the side tightly rolling it up.  Sorry I couldn't photograph myself doing that.

Ta - da! That's it. Crazy easy huh?
Now for the peanut dipping sauce I cheat a little bit. I know the big complicated way to make it in a traditional way. But I created a cheater's way to do it.

Things you'll need for the peanut dipping sauce:

2-3 tablespoons of Peanut Butter (I use all natural - creamy if you like it smooth crunchy if you like a little crunch.)

3-4 tablespoons of Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce- or something similar.

2 teaspoons of Lime Juice

Mix well and dip your rolls into it.

 It makes for a nice light dinner or lunch.


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