1. The popularity of Vietnamese fresh spring rolls
Being listed at number 30 on World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011, Fresh Spring Rolls become very popular not only for the local people but also tourists around the world because of the simple but healthy recipes.
Dipping in the delicious sauce with hoisin and peanut, the fresh spring rolls are the best choice for an amazing appetizer in summer time. Who doesn’t enjoy a good spring roll? Eaten with your hands, they make for great starters.
Spring rolls are served as appetizers in many East Asian and Southeast Asian countries. In the Phiippines, they have lumpiang sariwa (fresh lumpia). In Malaysian or Singapore, you can find different types of popiah. But Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, also call “gỏi cuốn”, are one of the most favourite for their healthy ingredients and freshness.
Translucent with alternating hues of orange and green, not only are they some of the tastiest fresh spring rolls, they’re also among the prettiest.
2. The recipe
Makes 10 servings | Preparation Time: 30 mins | Total time: 45 mins
1. Main ingredients:
- Rice vermicelli: 100 grams
- Pork: 200 grams
- Shrimps: 200 grams
- Cucumber: a half (100 grams)
- Carrot: a half (100 grams)
- Lettuce: 200 grams
- Fresh herbs (mint & Thai basil leaves): 100 grams
- Bean sprouts: 100 grams
- Chives: 100 grams (optional)
- Rice paper: 10 pieces (22 cm diameter)
2. Dipping sause
- Hoisin sauce: 50 grams
- Peanut butter: 30 grams, crunchy
- Boiled water: 80 ml
- Vinegar: 1 tablespoon
- Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
- Cooking oil: 1 tablespoon
- In a medium pot, boil 3 cups of water and cook the rice vermicelli for approximately 5-8 minutes until cooked thoroughly.
Note: Rinse with cold water then drain completely so that the remaining heat will not overcook it.
- Cook the pork in boiling water in 12-15 minutes. Add some salt and sugar in the water to enhance the flavour of the pork. Cut the pork in thin slices (0.5 cm).
Note: Keep the lid on and frequently flip the pork to help it cook thoroughly.
- Microwave the shrimps for 1 minute until they turn red. Peel the shells and cut them in half lengthwise. Don’t forget to remove the black lines along the shrimps.
- Cut the cucumber and carrot into pieces 12-cm in length.
- Rinse the lettuce, mint, Thai basil, chives and bean sprouts. Drain completely.
Making the roll
Fill in a large bowl with warm water. Quickly dip one rice paper into the water then shake the excess water off.
Note 1: Don’t soak the rice paper too long in the water because it will become too soft and sticky.
Lay the rice paper on a flat surface. At one end place the lettuce, rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber and herbs. In the middle, place 2 pork slices and 2 shrimp halves.
Note: Place the shrimp red side down so that it will show once the roll is completed. This way, when it is sliced in half, the vegetables and protein will be aligned around while the vermicelli is in the centre, improving the presentation of the roll.
Fold the two sides inwards then tightly roll the paper to the other end.
Chives can be placed in between when rolling the paper.
Step 4. Dipping sauce
- Combine the water, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Mix well.
- In a small saucepan, fry the garlic with cooking oil until it turns golden.
- Pour the hoisin mixture into the saucepan and stir for 3 minutes until it thickens.
Note 2: You can adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding water or hoisin.
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