Sunday, July 17, 2011

My First Home-Made Spring Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)

I went to the local market in Binh Thanh the other day and just couldn't help buying a stack of rice papers (50,000 VND per kilo).

Vietnamese spring rolls have been a long-time favorite and I was very curious to find out if I could cook that at home. I surfed the Internet for a traditional recipe, but it seemed to me there wasn't really one. There are so many versions and I bet all of them are good! So I just looked in the fridge and used whatever I found in there:

Chop the cauliflower and onion and stir fry them for two minutes. When these are almost done, add a few drops of fish sauce and some dried shrimp.

Then drain the oil and let everything cool down. Have the carrots and the pepper cut julienne and mixed with the other fried vegetables. This stuffing made of raw and cooked vegetables has a very interesting texture and is also really healthy.

The fun part is dealing with the rice wrappers. They are really fragile and have to be handled carefully, otherwise they may tear apart. Put some hot water in a pan and submerge each piece of rice paper for 10-15 seconds. The pan should be big enough to accommodate the rice paper. Dip only before making each roll and take it out when you see you can handle it easily.

Lay the wrapper on a flat surface. Begin with a small handful of lettuce or other green herbs you like in the bottom third of the piece of rice paper, then add two tablespoons of the stuffing on top, fold the sides in, then fold the bottom and roll it. Make sure you don't tug too tightly and place the roll seam side down. It looks like that:

We had them with lots of dipping soy sauce. Yes, I know we should have used Hoisin-chili sauce... but, hey! that was my first time! :)

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