Introduction: Vietnamese - Style Spring Rolls
These Vietnamese-influenced summer rolls are filled with cooked meat, shrimp, rice noodles and lots of vegetables and fresh herbs for flavour and crunch. They are super fresh, light, delicious and more importantly, healthy. It’s such a refreshing change from the usual fried variety. Dipped in creamy peanut sauce or light sweet and sour fish sauce, these rolls are great as appetizer or even as a light meal.
Meat and shrimp Ingredients
300 gram chicken meat, (sliced/diced)
2 tsp sugar, (marinate meat)
1 tsp soya sauce, (marinate meat)
1 tsp pepper (marinate meat)
200 gram shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 tsp salt
100 gram rice vermicelli (soaked and cooked)
6 cups water
Peanut sauce Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic (minced)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp peanut butter (creamy)
1 tbsp peanut (roasted and ground)
1 tsp garlic chili sauce (optional)
Fish sauce Ingredients
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fish sauce
2 lime (freshly squeezed juice)
1 tbsp garlic (chopped)
1 tbsp bird eye's chili (chopped)
Spring rolls Ingredients
5 cups warm water
1 packet rice paper
1 cucumber (sliced)
1 carrot (sliced)
1 bunch fresh lettuce (washed and drained)
1 bunch thai basil leaves (washed and drained)
1 bunch cilantro (washed and drained)
1 bunch mint (washed and drained)
1 packet garlic chives (washed, cut long)
Step 1: To Make Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Start by Cooking the Meat and Shrimp. Slice the Chicken Meat, Peeled and Deveined the Shrimp.
The vietnamese spring rolls in this recipe involves 4 easy steps.
The first step is to cook the meat and shrimp. For the meat, use any cut of chicken or pork. You can choose to use any kinds of meat protein or even beancurd.
To cook the meat, you can just poach it until its cooked all the way through. Then allow to cool, slice into pieces and set aside. Or if you are more ambitious, marinate and then pan-fry or even grill for a more flavourful taste.
The shrimp can also be any size but a medium size helps make rolling easier. Deveining shrimp is a common step in the process of cleaning shrimp to cook. It's an optional choice but some people prefer to as it makes for prettier and cleaner presentation. To devein, after peeling off the shell, run a small but sharp knife in a straight line down the centre of the shrimp's back to expose the vein. Then using the tip of your knife, a sharp toothpick, your hand to pull the vein away from the shrimp and discard. This can also be done under running water.
Step 2: Marinate the Sliced Meat With Sugar, Soy Sauce and White Pepper for at Least 30 Minutes to an Hour.
One of the simplest ways to flavour meat is to marinade it. When you marinate, always look for flavour that will compliment the food you are marinating. Marinating the sliced meat makes the meat tastier and juicier. Always marinate in the refrigerator to avoid the growth of bacteria.
Step 3: Then Pan Fry the Meat on Lightly Oiled Wok or Pan, Caramelize With Some Dark Soy Sauce.
Remove the meat from refrigerator to cool to room temperature before cooking them. Adding dark soy sauce adds colour and flavour to the pan-fried meat.
Step 4: Set Aside the Pan Fried Meat for Later Use.
Step 5: Next, Boil Salt Water on High Heat in a Pan. Then Add in Shrimp, Reduce Heat to Medium and Allow the Shrimp to Simmer for 2 -3 Minutes or Until Pink and Cooked Through.
Be sure to use fresh shrimp as it gives the best flavour. Boil enough water to comfortably cook all the shrimp. After adding shrimp, boil until a few start floating on top of the water, about 2 to 3 minutes for smaller shrimp and 5 to 7 minutes for larger shrimp. Shrimp is cooked when the thickest part of the flesh is opaque.
Be careful not to overcook the shrimp as overcooked shrimp become tough and rubbery.
Step 6: Remove the Shrimp and Allow to Cool. Then Slice the Shrimp in Half Lengthwise and Set Aside.
Use paper towels to pat dry the cooked shrimp before slicing in half.
Step 7: Next, Prepare the Noodles. Briefly Soaked Rice Vermicelli Noodles in Water.
The second step to making these vietnamese spring rolls is to prepare the noodles. The noodles are nice fillers and add body to the vietnamese spring rolls. Use THIN rice vermicelli. Cold water rinses out all the starch in the noodles.
Step 8: Then Cook the Rice Vermicelli Noodles in a Wok of Boiling Water for About 3 Minutes, or Until Al Dente.
Do not overcook the noodles.
Step 9: Remove, Rinse in Cold Water and Drained. Set Aside the Cooked Noodles.
This step will ensure the noodles are stringy and do not stick together.
Step 10: Then Prepare Ingredients to Make the Smooth Peanut Sauce.
Step 3 for making these vietnamese spring rolls is to make the sauce. There are 2 types of vietnamese dipping sauce for these rolls (peanut sauce and fish sauce).These sauces can be made ahead of time. Just refrigerate in a covered container. Before serving, let sit to cool to room temperature.
Step 11: Heat Up Oil in the Pan and Fry Garlic Until Lightly Golden Brown.
Be sure to not over brown the garlic or it will be bitter taste.
Step 12: Then Add in Water.
Use hot water.
Step 13: And the Sugar.
Stir to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.
Step 14: Followed by Hoisin Sauce.
If the hoisin sauce is too thick, add a little water to thin out the sauce.
Step 15: And the Creamy Peanut Butter.
Use natural peanut butter which only has peanut and salt. If conventional peanut butter is used, then omit adding sugar into the sauce,
Step 16: Stir All Ingredients Together on Low Heat Until the Sauce Becomes Smooth and Shiny.
Whisk or stir consistently to make sure everything is well mixed.
Step 17: Finally Turn Off the Heat and Turn the Sauce Onto Serving Bowl, Garnish With Ground Roasted Peanut and Garlic Chili Sauce (optional). Then Set Aside.
You can also store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Whisk again before serving.
Step 18: Next Prepare Ingredients to Make the Other Sauce, the Sweet and Sour Fish Sauce.
Be sure to chop garlic and bird eye's chilies finely. Use good quality fish sauce and fresh lime.
Step 19: In a Bowl of Hot Water, Add in Sugar and Mix to Dissolve the Sugar.
Using hot water will ensure the sugar to dissolve completely.
Step 20: Then Add in Fish Sauce and Minced Garlic. Squeeze in Fresh Lime Juice and Chopped Bird Eye's Chilies.
Be sure to use a good quality fish sauce. The fish sauce should be light amber colour and have the words nhi or thong hang on the label which indicate that its of the highest quality. Use light Vietnamese style fish sauce rather than the heavier Thai or Filipino styles. The fish sauce used in Thai and Filipino cooking tends to be saltier and heavier in flavour.
Also ensure the garlic and bird eye's chilies are chopped finely.
Step 21: Mix Everything Together, Adjust to Taste and Set Aside.
Taste and adjust the flavours to your liking, balancing out the sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste. You may want to have it a little stronger taste though as this sauce is used to add flavour to the rolls wrapped in lettuce and herbs which are quite plain and therefore need a little boost to enhance the overall flavour.
This sauce may be prepared ahead of time, leave refrigerated until needed.
Step 22: Lastly, Prepare Ingredients to Wrap the Spring Rolls.
The last step to making this dish is to roll the vietnamese rolls. Be sure to have all the ingredients ready before you start to roll these vietnamese rolls.
An important element of a great summer roll is having a "crunch" in the centre. So have ready some cut celery, carrots and cucumbers. Fresh lettuce and herbs provide a refreshing bite. Fresh herbs are also mandatory for these fresh Vietnamese spring rolls so any types of fresh mint, basil or any selection of Vietnamese herbs will do the job.
Rice paper wrappers are available in various sizes and thickness so the spring rolls can be small bite sized rolls to larger, longer rolls. Just choose whichever works best for you. Although the rice paper thickness vary, the difference is not significant.
Step 23: First Dip the Rice Paper Evenly in Warm Water and Shake Off All the Excess Water.
Do not over-soak the rice paper.
Dip only before making each roll. Start with a large bowl of warm water. Just rotate the rice paper in the bowl of water or quickly immerse it in the bowl for about 2 seconds, just until it's slightly softened. The rice paper should be still slightly firm and not pliable.
Step 24: Put the Damp Rice Paper on a Plate or Flat Surface.
Immediately remove the rice paper from water and lay it down on a plate. Wait one minute for the rice paper to become pliable and then you're ready to roll the rolls.
It's much easier to roll the rolls on a large ceramic plate or a plastic cutting board. Avoid using wood surface as they are very porous and will cause the rice paper to stick on it.
Step 25: Next, Put the Fresh Vegetables, Herbs and Noodles on One Row, the Pan Fried Meat on the Second Row and the Sliced Shrimp on the Third Row.
Do not overfill the vietnamese rolls.
Lay lettuce leaf down first on the first row before you pack on the noodles and herbs as these sturdy lettuce leaves help prevent tears in the rice paper.
Do not overlap when placing the meat on the second row.
Line the shrimp on the third row with the cut side facing UP.
Step 26: Roll the Spring Roll Up Tightly.
Do not be afraid to roll the spring roll tightly. A tighter roll looks nicer and showcases what you wrap inside. You may need to push down on the ingredients and lightly squeeze it together as you roll in order to make a perfectly tight roll.
Step 27: And Before You Get to the End (before the Shrimp), Fold Up One Side of the Wrap and Add in One Garlic Chive.
The long garlic chive added at the end of the roll serve to enhance not just the look but the flavour of these delightful vietnamese rolls.
Step 28: Continue to Roll It Up and Seal It at the End. and We're Done!
Once rolled up, place on a plate, join-side down. Serve immediately.
To store them, place in a plastic container that's big enough to keep them without their touching. Place a damp paper towel at the bottom of the container to keep the rolls moist. Cover tightly with plastic cling wrap for about 2 hours in a cool place before serving.
If you store the spring rolls stacked up or side-by-side, then layer each row of spring rolls with plastic cling wrap so the rolls are not touching. Otherwise they will stick and tear when separated.
Step 29: Serve These Fresh Spring Rolls With the Peanut Sauce That You Made Earlier.
Step 30: These Spring Rolls Are Also Good With the Sweet and Sour Light Fish Sauce Too. So Enjoy!
The quantity for each ingredient needed to make these rolls may vary as you can wrap. So, replenish as need be as you continue to wrap the rolls.