Returning to Vietnam was a no brainer. Just to have the chance to have some authentic Vietnamese cuisine is worth going out of my way for. On my recent around the world tour I had the option of laying over in middle of nowhere China, Manila, or Ho Chi Minh City. I didn’t have to think long. Although China was the cheapest route, they don’t have authentic Vietnamese salad rolls. Manila would have been an interesting stop but I need more time there so I gladly booked a flight through Vietnam. What did I do on said layover? Eat. Then eat some more.
Back home I started to get withdraws from my surge of Vietnamese food. With that in mind I tried out this almost authentic Vietnamese salad rolls recipe and am happy to share the results here. Dig in.
Almost Authentic Vietnamese Salad Rolls
Before you Start:
Prep time: 30 min depending on your knife skills!
Serves: An army
To make things easier:
– Small food processor
– Said army to be an assembly team
Spicy Peanut sauce: 3/4 cup peanut butter 2.5 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (or more) 5 teaspoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon sugar 1 mashed garlic clove splash of sesame oil splash of water Handful of toasted peanuts (optional)
Spring Rolls: 16 rice paper wrappers 1 lbs. cooked shrimp,halved 4 ounces cooked rice vermicelli 1 medium cucumber, sliced into sticks 1 cup bean sprouts 1 bunch of fresh mint 8 lettuce (bibb or butter) leaves cut in half 1 bunch Thai basil 4 Green onions split & cut into quarters 1 bunch fresh cilantro 2 Serrano chiles thinly sliced lengthwise
1. Toss ingredients for spicy peanut sauce in food processor. Boom. Sauce.
2. Setup your workspace. Arrange your spring roll ingredients as following:
- Green onion
In front of the laid out ingredients above place a tea towel to construct your rolls on.
3. Fill a large flat pan or dish (big enough to submerge rice paper) with warm water. Working with one sheet at a time, add paper to water until soft (~15 seconds) Transfer to towel.
4. Working at a medium pace, add ingredients in a row and on top of each other as below. Make sure you leave an inch or so space around pile to prevent breakage.
- Shrimp flat side up (3-4)
- Noodles (small hand full)
- Sprouts (a few)
- Basil (x2)
- Mint (x2) – or last for effect
- Cilantro (1 spring)
- Pepper (x2)
- Cucumber (2-4)
- Green onion (x2)
- Lettuce (x1)
5. Fold that roll! Start with bottom half over the pile then the sides while holding roll in place. Hold all folds in place then roll paper horizontally. It may take a few tries. Reject rolls still taste good.
6. Place on tray or plate with shrimp side up. cover each row with plastic wrap and repeat.
7. Serve your almost authentic Vietnamese salad rolls with side spicy peanut sauce. Top sauce with chilli oil, roasted peanuts and cilantro if your feeling crazy.
8. Enjoy your super easy and almost authentic Vietnamese salad rolls !