My attempts fall short in the looks department - but the rolls still tasted yummy!
This fall, Allison and Jennifer traveled around Asia and had the time of their lives. They did it on the cheap by staying in hostels and avoiding fancy restaurants. Taking advantage of all the local culture had to offer, they visited lots of museums and explored each area they visited. One fun thing they did was partake in some cooking classes in Thailand and Vietnam. When they got home, we had a great time going to an Asian market and then cooking up some of dishes they had learned to make. One of them was what restaurants here call Summer Rolls - but their cooking school in Vietnam called them Fresh Spring Rolls. I was surprised that they were so easy to put together. I have had summer rolls in the States made of lettuce and rice noodles, and my Vietnamese friend Kim makes the absolutely best ones I have ever had with pork and pickled vegetables. I imagine this recipe could be used as a starting point and anything that sounds could good be put in a spring roll such as avocado or even cooked asparagus. It would be fun to let guests or kids assemble their own. Likewise, the dipping sauce here is great, but any number of different sauces could be used. Kim serves her's with a divine peanut sauce.
Ingredients and Procedure for Fresh Spring Rolls
Recipe from Gioan Restaurant & Family Cookery School in Hoi An - Viet Nam
5 pieces of hard rice paper (the first one might be unusable as part of learning curve) 1 cucumber grated into long strips (we ended up using a spiralizer) 1/2 carrot grated into long strips 5 tablespoons fresh mint 1 tablespoon white rice vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon sugar 5 teaspoons of onion flakes (optional but nice) 5 pinches of pepper 10 shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 fresh chili, crushed 2 choves of garlic, crushed 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 tablespoonlemon juice or lime juice 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soya sauce
Combine and mix well
*Side note - the recipe the girls were given says "serves four" but note all the "5s"
Love the name!
Mix cucumber, carrot, salt, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl. Then put in a cloth and squeeze the liquid out.
Soften a piece of rice paper in cold water and put on a plate. (We turned it around so it got nice and wet every where. After it is on the plate it continues to soften.)
Place a heaping tablespoon vegetable mixture onto the edge of the rice paper. Place pinch pepper, 1 tablespoon mint, l teaspoon onion flakes on top of vegetable mixture. Fold both sides into the middle. Roll twice. Add 2 shrimps on top. Roll up the rest of the way.
*Side note - as seen above, we didn't follow the directions exactly. It's forgiving!