Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

Today I wanted to share with you a new discovery of working with rice paper wrappers and my fascination with Vietnamese cooking.  I have always thought of Fresh Spring Roll as restaurant food.  When I say "restaurant food" I need to define that in my words,  it's food I never imagined being able to make at home.  Something too that I would not consider attempting or know where to begin to shop for the ingredients.  About 5 years go I had my first fresh spring roll at Pho Thai Burien  and could not believe how delicious it was.  It was packed full of vegetables fresh mint, basil, rice noodle and shrimp all rolled into a wrapper.  And then dip in a creamy peanut butter sauce or a hot chili sauce.  I loved these rolls so much that it justified going to Pho Thai Burien at least once a week for dinner.

When Bill asked today what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I told him I wanted to try to make Pho Thai's Spring Rolls.  So he sent me flowers and we went and shopped for the ingredients.  

Birthday Flowers:

And now the how to make spring rolls:

Prep time:  25-30 mins
8  large rice wrappers
1 large bowl of hot tap water
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cucumber (peeled and julienne)
20 leaves of Thai basil or fresh mint
2 cups mixed baby greens salad mix
1/2 lb cooked and peeled shrimp butterfly cut (51/60)  *any protein you can use; chicken, pork tofu*
1/2 lb cooked rice noodles  (optional)
(your choice)
Peanut Sauce
Any Asian style dressing
Thai Chili Sauce

** Most restaurants will use noodles as fillers to add density, if you're going to use rice noodles cook to package instruction and let cool. I didn't use in my rolls and they were not missed**

1. Prepare all vegetables and butterfly your shrimp for easy rolling.

2.  One all roll ingredients are prepared put hot tap water in a dish.  Each wrapper will need 3-8 seconds in the hot water depending on how hot your water is.

**I got these wrappers at Wayne's in Burien, they were $1.60 for 20** There are lots of options, I have not a clue if one is better than the other, I got the one with the cutest picture on the front.  

3. Start your rolling:

I am still a little rusty at the roll part but you get the hang of it after about 4. I rolled them like a burrito and the rice paper was really stretchy.  

4. Cut them at an angle and serve!  You can also wrap them individually in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for a day.  Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce, I used home made peanut sauce.

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