Spring roll is one of the first Vietnamese dish i learned years ago. My Vietnamese friend invited me and my daughter for a dinner and taught me how to prepare a typical Vietnamese meal. The other dish i learned is their crepe (savory), i will be blogging them sometime soon.
And ofcourse, you guys know me, i like to make it my own. She prepared this w/ shrimps and thin slices of pork. For my version i used bacon in lieu of the thin slices of pork
One thing i like w/ these springs rolls is that you can add or substitute some of the ingredients. You can definitely make a vegetarian version by adding tofu or just the veggies and herbs.
As for the sauce if you are allegic to peanut butter you can make the fish sauce and lime dipping sauce.
Ingredients for the roll:
12 rice paper (banh trang)*
3 oz vermicelli, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes until soft (drained)
1 lb or more medium shrimp, peeled and deviened
4 to 5 strips of bacon cut into small pieces
10 or more green leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce (washed and cleaned)
1 cup carrots julienned
2 cups mung bean sprouts washed and cleaned
1/4 cup each of any or all of the herbs: Thai basil leaves, mint, cilantro, chives (washed and cleaned)*
1. Cook bacon by adding little water and bring it to a boil until bacon starts to sizzle. Set them aside.
2. Cook shrimps using the same pan, so that shrimps will absorb the bacon flavor. Shrimp is cooked as soon as it turns pinkish in color. Set aside
3. Take out the ribs of the lettuce leaves.
4. At this point you will have to prepare your "assembly line" area.
5. You will need a bowl enough to accomodate the rice paper. Fill with warm water, and soak one wrapper at a time for at least a minute or so, or until it's soft and pliable enough.
6. Lay the wrapper on a a clean flat surface.
7.Position the ingredients at the bottom half of the wrapper.
8. Begin with 2 or 3 shrimps, then 3 or more pieces of bacon.
9. Top it w/ 1 or 2 lettuce leaves.
10.Then the mung beans sprout, some of the vermicelli, then some julliened carrots.
11. Spread some of the herbs.
12. Fold up the bottom, then the two sides; continue rolling up, keeping the wrapper firmly around the ingredients to get a good roll, but being careful not to tear the wrapper. Place the roll seam side down.
13. Continue rolling depending on how many rolls you want. Cover w/ damp towels or extra lettuce leaves to prevent the wrapper to dry up.
**This can be made ahead of time, just make sure to keep them in an airtight container lined w/ damp towel and store at a cool area not the refrigerator.
** These are best eaten w/ in an hour or two.
* Rice papers are available at any Asian stores or look at the Oriental Aisle at your grocery stores they might have them.
* For the herbs, i like using Thai basil and cilantro.
PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE:
1/4 c peanut butter
2 T or more boiling water
2 t soy sauce
2 t oyster sauce
1 t sesame oil
1/2 t chile sauce (optional)
juice of half a lime
pounded peanuts (for garnish)
Dissolve the peanut butter in the boiling water, and mix in the remaining ingredients except the pounded peanuts. Taste then adjust the sauce.
This can be done a day ahead, and kept in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before serving.