Fresh Spring Rolls

spring rolls

Ingredients:

rice paper
very warm water

For the filling:

rice vermicelli noodles(cooked accordingly to the package)
1 pound of shrimp(deveined with the shell on)
fried tofu
Vietnamese ham(click here for my homemade recipe)
bean sprouts
green leaf lettuce
mint
cilantro
saw tooth coriander(optional)
chives(optional)

For the peanut sauce:

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp of hoisen sauce
1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp of sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup of very warm water
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
chopped peanuts for garnish
*you may double the recipe

For the sweet and sour fish sauce:

1/2 cup of sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp of very hot water
1/3 cup of fish sauce
1-2 limes
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 Tbsp of ground chili paste
some sliced Thai chili peppers
some carrots sliced julienne(optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Start off by making your dipping sauces.

To make the peanut sauce:

Add all of the above ingredients(except for the chopped peanuts)into a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste check and adjust seasoning as needed. Sauce will slightly thicken upon standing. Store any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge.

To make the sweet and sour dipping sauce:

Add all of the above ingredients into a small mixing bowl EXCEPT for the ground chili paste and chili peppers. You want to taste check for seasoning first, and then add the chili last after it’s to your liking. Start off with the juice of 1 lime and add more as needed. Store leftover sauce in an air tight container in the fridge, as well.

Add your shrimp in some boiling water until cooked through. Drain and then slice them in half. Remove the shell and then set aside.

Take your tofu and rinse them in some hot water to remove the excess oil. Drain and then pat dry. Cut them in half and then again into thirds. Set them aside.

Cut your Vietnamese ham into the same size as your tofu. You want thin strips to make it easier to roll.

Wash all of your herbs and veggies VERY WELL, and then dry them in a salad spinner.

*Make sure you have all of your fillings, herbs, and veggies in front of you before you begin to assemble.

How to assemble your spring rolls:

Dip your rice paper into some very warm water for about 5 seconds. Place the rice paper on a wooden board. Use your hands to smooth out the rice paper a bit. It will also help soften the rice paper. Take a small piece of lettuce and place it in the middle(make sure you leave at least a 1/2 inch border on the sides to roll up the seams). Add your bean sprout first, and then follow with your choice of herbs and veggies. Top with a small portion of noodles(less is more). On the next row, add two slices of tofu then top that with two slices of ham. For the third row, add 3 pieces of shrimp(the cut side of the shrimp should be visible to you).

Start rolling the rice paper over the veggies and noodles(getting a tight grip), then over your tofu and ham, and right before you roll over the shrimp, fold in the sides of the rice paper, and finally, tightly roll over the shrimp.

Serve immediately with your choice of dipping sauce.

NOTES: Fresh spring rolls do not refrigerate well. The rice paper will become tough and hard, when cold. Make sure you always use very warm water for best results. You do not have to use a wooden board to roll your spring rolls. Personally, it just works better for me because I feel that the wooden boards soak up the water from the rice paper better, so it makes for easier rolling.