Spring Rolls: Vietnamese Style

What’s not to like in this appetizer/dish? There’s no cooking required, just fresh vegetables and herbs wrapped in thin rice paper and you can just get rotisserie chicken and cooked shrimps from your favorite market- should you decide or prefer not to go veggie all the way. Oh well, assembling the roll if you’re aiming for uniformity in the size takes patience and by now you should know it’s not a strong suit of mine. I probably can when I have time and when I’m not hungry.
It was Teresa’s idea for us to have Vietnamese style fresh spring rolls last week. They went shopping for all the ingredients and seriously, all I did was sit and assemble my roll after roll after roll and that's where the fun is; assembling your own so you have complete control of the filling although the small rice paper can only hold so much. We ended up with skinny little rolls but who knows how many skinny little rolls each of us consumed? I can’t remember how many I ate, I kind of lost count and the great thing about it is there was no bloated feeling that we normally feel after a meal. Oh yeah, that’s our excuse… or my excuse, it became the main meal instead of just an appetizer.

So we feasted on these rolls for two days and I thought I had enough but no, we had it for lunch at home today. It was fun shopping for the ingredients and I found out too that there are bigger sizes of the rice paper so I bought the medium ones. They are easier to use because I can fill it up more without worrying that I can’t fold the sides. They’re still not the prettiest but I can work on that with practice. Oh and my carrots and cucumbers are and not julienned – that’s the way we had them at work and I find it easier and less time consuming in terms of preparation. I guess the only thing we missed is that extra crunch but I’ll work on that the next time we’ll have it on our menu. 

For the peanut-hoisin dipping sauce, I used:

1/3 cup hoisin sauce
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup water
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1 tsp red pepper flakes or hot sauce (optional)

Pulse together in a blender until well incorporated and smooth. Taste if seasoning needs to be adjusted. In lieu of a blender, you can whisk everything together (vigorously).


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