Vietnamese || spring rolls

This is great for fast meals during the week, for using up leftovers, and is an easy introduction into cooking, providing a fun yet casual & impromptu gathering of friends – get them to do the work. There really are no rules for what you can wrap into the rice paper, you can make them with fruit, add in lettuce, whatever you fancy and think will taste good rolled together – just go for it. Here is my take on the dish:

For the basics you will need the following:

  • 1 packet – Vermicilli [rice] noodles [cooked according to the directions]
  • 1 packet – Spring roll wrappers
  • 1 bunch – Basil
  • 1 bunch – Cilantro
  • 1 bottle – Sriracha sauce
  • 1 bottle – Sweet chili sauce
  • 1 bottle – Hoisin sauce

For everything else it is up to you and what is leftover in the fridge, but here are some ideas:

  • 1 small – Cucumber cut into long thin slices [fancy terms -‘ julienne’ or ‘matchstick’ style]
  • 1 medium – Carrot cut into matchsticks
  • 1 packet – Bean sprouts
  • 1-2 chicken breasts – Cooked and shredded [this is where I use left overs]
  • 5-10 shrimp – Cooked & peeled

PART ONE: Prepare all the ingredients and have them laid for easy access as this is all about assembling.
PART TWO: Fill a large bowl / pot with room temperature water to soak the spring roll / rice paper wrappers in.
PART THREE: Take rice wrapper, place it in the water and let it soak for 10-15 seconds until it is pliable.
PART FOUR: Take it out of the water and place it on the counter or a plate, don’t worry about the water it will continue to soak into the wrapper.
PART FIVE: Layer all your ingredients onto the wrapper at one end leaving some space to fold in the edges. I like to add a little sauce like Hoisin, mixed with a little fish sauce to flavor the noodles before I start rolling.
PART SIX: Once you have all the items you want into the wrapper, fold the sides in, and then start rolling. And another trick is to add some extra herbs 2/3 way through rolling so that you can seem them through the wrapper.
PART SEVEN: You can then cut the roll, or just dip and eat. SIMPLE.

Next time you are at the supermarket grab the ‘basics’ so you have them on hand, and when in doubt for what to do for dinner with a pile of left overs – SPRING ROLLS !

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