My friend, Lan, who is Vietnamese, showed me how to make these delicious and healthy spring rolls. These are served cold and are NOT fried. They do require some skill to roll - unless you've made these before, you may want to have extra rice papers on hand in case you tear some! It is crucial to use only fresh herbs etc. in this dish, however you can use any cooked meat or fish combo that you prefer. Vegetarians may omit meat altogether. The prep time given is how long it should take - but first timers may find it takes longer to roll.
- 1 package clear edible rice paper sheet
- 1⁄2 lb cooked chicken
- 1⁄2 lb cooked small shrimp (, peeled, deveined, halved)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
- 1 head leafy lettuce, washed and separated into leaves
- 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into very,very thin strips
- 1 cup fresh bean sprout, optional
- 1 package vermicelli rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
- hoisin sauce, to taste
- chopped peanuts
- nuoc nam, vietnamese spicy fish sauce
- Have all meats precooked and cold and the rice noodles prepared already (the noodles should be white, long and at room temp).
- Make sure all veggies and herbs are cleaned, dried, and set out before you start.
- Dip a sheet of rice paper wrapper into water very quickly, no longer than a second or two (or they will get too soggy) and lay flat on a work surface.
- On one edge, lay a small handful of noodles, a few strips of meat, some shrimp, some cilantro and mint leaves, a lettuce leaf, some cucumber strips and bean sprouts, all to taste but don't overstuff.
- Carefully start to roll up eggroll style, tucking in the sides, then continue to roll up-but not too tightly or the spring roll will split.
- These rolls will be thicker than the typical Chinese-style fried eggrolls.
- Combine a few spoonfulls of hoisin sauce with some chopped peanuts to use as a dipping sauce (or serve with prepared spicy fish sauce dip called Nuoc Mam, available at Asian markets).
- Serve immediately- these do not keep and will harden up in the fridge, so it is best to make just as many as you plan to serve (store any extra unassembled fillings in fridge and roll later).
- Note: Please be sure to get the correct spring roll rice papers- these are not the same as wonton/eggroll wrappers, which must be cooked.
- Look for edible rice paper wrappers, rice noodle vermicelli, and hoisin sauce in Asian markets.