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Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls






“Spread your wings and prepare to fly
For you have become a butterfly
Fly abandonedly into the sun…”

(Butterfly by Mariah Carey)


Spring rolls are found in many parts of South East Asia, but the Vietnamese have their own unique and healthy method of doing it.

I love Vietnamese cuisine because it concentrates on the natural flavor of fresh herbs, spices and meat, without letting any one upstage the other. For people who can’t tolerate spicy or oily food, Vietnamese would be the best solution.

These fresh spring rolls I made for dinner yesterday are wrapped with boiled rice vermicelli, cabbage leaves, carrot, bean sprouts, diced chicken, shrimps and crabmeat. No sauce is included inside the spring roll; you can dip it inside a dipping sauce later at your own preference. Personally I like it fresh with just a drizzle of sesame oil and light soy sauce.

Ideal as an appetizer, it is perhaps Vietnam’s answer to the famous Japanese sushi. In terms of presentation I think it is definitely a sight to behold.

I would love to go on a trip to cities like Hanoi, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long Bay one day. Not just for the scenery and culture, but also to feast upon the Vietnamese cuisine :) I can be such a pig sometimes!

Here is my personal recipe below, but you can add other things such as mushrooms (cook them in a little oil before) or if you find the rolls a tad plain, put some of your favorite sauces inside before you roll them up.

VIETNAMESE FRESH SPRING ROLLS

Serving size is 4 rolls.

Ingredients

4 sheets of rice paper
100gr chicken, cut in tiny pieces
8 shrimps, medium-sized
4 crabmeat
40gr rice vermicelli
4 cabbage leaves
100gr bean sprouts

Dipping Sauce:
Sambal Belachan
Hoisin Peanut Sauce
Sesame Soy Sauce
or any other sauce you prefer

Method

1. Boil shrimps, crabmeat and chicken together in a pot until fully cooked. Scoop the meat out onto a plate. Now, boil the rice vermicelli and cabbage leaves till they become soft.

2. Put warm water in a wide bowl. Dip the rice paper inside for 2 seconds, remove, and dip the other side for another 2 seconds. The rice paper will become softer, with a few stiff edges.

3. On your worktop or any clean surface such as a chopping board, lay the rice paper flat. On 1/3 of the rice paper nearest to you (the bottom part), put a cabbage leaf.

4. Put the rest of the vegetables on top of the cabbage leaf in a neat manner. Place small portions of the shrimps, chicken and crabmeat in the middle section of the rice paper.

5. Roll the rice paper from bottom to top carefully, tucking in the sides when you reach the middle, and then continue rolling until it forms the shape of a spring roll.

6. Serve with the dipping sauces.
 

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