Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vietnamese Spring Rolls


Today we have a break in our normal programming. We usually do our Real People Wednesday Interviews today, however I am doing a special interview this week that takes a lot of coordination and to execute it correctly I need a few more days to put it together. I will be sharing a nice recipe today though so hopefully you enjoy!

Vietnamese food has always been a staple in my household. After the Vietnam War a lot of immigrants migrated to the Twin Cities and we have a good amount of Vietnamese restaurants strewn out between the two cities. I was first introduced to these foods when I was just a small child. When my parents got divorced my sister used to venture to my dad's house on Thursday evenings but I would stay in town because I was already in school. My mom and I would have a girls night in and one of our guilty pleasures was take-out from a really cute family owned Vietnamese restaurant called Binh Minh. Sadly the restaurant is no longer in existence because the owners retired-however we try our best to find another restaurant to take the place of our beloved little spot but in the end we decided to recreate our own taste of Vietnam at home. We have made many of the delicacies enjoyed over the years but one of our most frequently used recipes is our fresh spring roll recipe.

Spring rolls are a bit tricky to perfect and over the years we have tried many different techniques but we have finally settle on our favorite and I will share it with you today. This is a recipe I really love to recreate in the summer because it is filled with fresh produce and grilled meats which are not hard to come by in the summer. I have been growing my little herb garden and my oh my those herbs come in handy for recipes like these. I have noticed that herbs seem to be one of the most expensive purchases at the store and then you end up wasting whatever you bring home because usually you only need a few bunches for one recipe.


The first step is to get all of your mise en place. Spring roll ingredients can differ from spring roll to spring roll. Our favorite fillings include cucumber, carrots, lettuce, rice noodles, shrimp, grilled pork, cilantro and thai basil. Other ingredients commonly used include, avocado, mint, chicken etc... 






The next step is so get your noodles cooked. Rice noodles do not need to be boiled because they can over cook quite quickly. You want to just soak your noodles in a covered bowl filled with hot water. The noodles should have a slight toothsome texture. You then want to wet your rice paper wrapper. This is where it gets a bit tricky but the best technique is to wet as you go. Take the wrapper run it under cold water for about 30 seconds. Once the wrapper is saturated this is when you want to start adding your ingredients (FYI: do not use a paper plate your wrapper will adhere to the surface it is will be impossible to wrap without ripping). 



          You then add all of your ingredients (make sure you do not over fill or again you run the risk of ripping the shell) . Make sure you don't forget your herbs they tend to add the most depth of flavor to the spring roll. Now you are ready to enjoy with a dipping sauce of your choice. We typically use two different kinds- a citrus sweet and sour, and a vietnamese hoisin peanut sauce. But really any sauce or vinaigrette will do- Danielle's herb dressing from yesterday could be a great addition to this recipe!











Vietnamese Spring Rolls 


- Rice paper wrappers
 - Cooked rice noodles
 - Shredded carrots
    - Thinly sliced cucumber
    - Shredded lettuce
    - Thai basil
    - Cilantro
    - Grilled pork, in strips
    - Butterflied cooked shrimp

    Hoisin Dipping Sauce

    - 1/2 C Hoisin Sauce
    - 2 Tbls water
    - 1 tsp sriracha sauce
    - 1/4 C crushed peanuts

These are such a great treat for those humid hot nights you don't feel like cooking but just want something cold and refreshing.  Check back later this week for some more great recipes and a really fun interview piece! 

Laura

Ps. Don't forget to try out my watermelon avocado salad!


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