Friday, January 13, 2012

Vietnamese rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls with dipping sauce
Vietnamese rice paper rolls are almost as well known as pho among the Vietnamese cuisine faves. It is a spring roll made of rice paper and filled with salad, shrimp and noodles. It is super bland and super healthy. The dipping sauce or Nước chấm served alongside has all the flavor. It is a blend of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and garlic with Thai red chillies. These are great starters and can be made ahead of time and kept covered with damp cloth till serving.
If you have never used rice paper before you might find it a bit tricky at first. They are stiff round sheets which are softened by hydrating in warm water. The key is to not overfill the roll and leave enough space for folding and to work quick once paper is wet.

The internals of the rolls

Ingredients for rolls:
Rice paper
Warm water in a wide mouthed bowl
Julienned carrots and cucumber
Bean sprouts
Fresh coriander
Fresh basil
Cooked Shrimp
Cooked rice noodles (Optional, I didn't use any)
  1. Prepare all the internals and keep them ready before rolling. 
  2. Dip the rice paper in water and take it out at once. If it remains in the water for too long it will go limp and collapse and stick with it self. 
  3. Take out the damp rice paper and lay it on a flat surface. It will take a few minute for it to become pliable enough to roll. 
  4. Horizontally place the filling on the bottom half of the paper. Fold the bottom half and go fully over the filling to secure it. Now fold the two sides in and finally close the roll. This is the classic folding just like a burrito. 
  5. You can also fold it open ended style. Place the ingredients vertically in the center and fold the bottom flap first. Now roll it from left to right and here you have it. 
  6. As you make the rolls place them in between damp cloth to keep them fresh and moist and prevent them from sticking. 
  7. Don't get discouraged if you mess up a few. You will get a hang of it soon and all the mess ups are yours to eat.

Nước chấm
Ingredients: (Makes ¾ cup)
3-4 tablespoons lime/lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
2 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 or 2 red Thai chilli, finely minced
  1. Combine all the ingredients together. 
  2. There should be a good balance of tartness and sweetness. So taste and adjust the flavor. 
  3. Let the sauce sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment