01 September 2010

Yum: Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Hi friends! Firstly, thanks for sticking with me through my recent lack of posts. And more than that, thanks for all the lovely dissertation wishes in comments lately. They actually do give me a little extra positivity & a little extra push. Seriously, I love you guys. I didn't create a blog for the people at all, but I realize now what a great thing it is to have that little connection with people around the world who have similar interests, problems, etc.

Because you guys are fabulous, & because I don't have enough procrastination options (hah), I've decided to tell you about a lovely little meal I made recently: Vietnamese spring rolls (aka salad rolls).

I fell in love with spring rolls during my sophomore year of college. There's a Vietnamese restaurant by the library at Sac State, and I discovered that their spring rolls are the best combination of healthy & cheap on campus. When I passed by an Asian supermarket on Gloucester Road the other day, I popped in & inquired about the harder to find ingredients (specifically, the big noodle that you wrap it all up in, called Vietnamese rice paper). I bought these and the noodles that go inside (rice vermicelli). The total was about £5 ($7), but the packages gave me enough noodles to make lunch for the rest of the year!

This is suuuch an easy meal to make, whenever. I like to make one set for dinner and extra to save for lunch the next day.


For wrap:
Vietnamese rice paper
Rice vermicelli (thin rice noodles)
lettuce (romaine is best)
bell pepper
frozen shrimp

For sauce (optional):
Peanut butter (preferably crunchy)
Hoisin sauce
Any oil - I used olive (optional)

1. Place the rice vermicelli in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 10 minutes.
2. Microwave the frozen shrimp. (It should take about 2-3 minutes.)

3. While the noodles are softening, slice the vegetables into thin strips. I used a vegetable peeler for the carrots. (The lettuce can be a little bigger.)

4. Once the vermicelli is done, you can start making the wraps. Dip a sheet of rice paper in lukewarm water for five seconds, then put it on your work surface.
5. Place all of the ingredients on the rice paper in a line.

6. (Make sure the line of fillings is horizontal, &) Roll up, starting with the edge closest to you. When the roll is halfway done, tuck the sides over & continue rolling. It's best to try to get the roll as tight as possible without breaking the rice paper, but getting it right can take a few tries. Practice makes perfect.

For the dipping sauce, I mix crunchy peanut butter (straight up ground peanuts, not Jif) & hoisin sauce (bought at the supermarket), with a dab of olive oil to make a bit more saucy. I use about 3 parts peanut butter, 2 parts hoisin sauce, & 1 part oil (or less).

Thai sweet chili sauce also works well as a dip. Or you can just have it plain & fresh!

Vietnamese spring rolls are very versatile. You can put pretty much any combination inside them. This is my favorite combo, but you can also take out the veggies you don't like and/or add new ones (cucumber and zucchini are also good ones). Another yummy option is to throw leftover chicken in it instead of shrimp, which goes well with some avocado or even strawberries inside in addition to or instead of the carrots and/or bell pepper. Get creative with what you have and what you like and ENJOY!



  1. I love spring rolls but have never made them. You make them look so easy!

  2. mmm -- looks yummy. love the layout of this post!

  3. Thanks! It's fun to play with layout :.)

  4. I love spring rolls. I don't know why, but I always wimp out when it comes to making them myself. The rice paper intimidates me.


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