Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I had some wonderfully fragrant Thai basil in the fridge, and decided to use them to make Vietnamese summer rolls. Sure, it's time intensive and not easy to roll these out, but the outcome is so tasty. The difficultly lies in keeping the rice paper from drying out while working on them, and having delicate hands so as to not puncture the soft rice paper.

I had to work around what I had in the refrigerator, so I'd say it was about 80% authentic to the Vietnamese food I've had here in the States. There's no recipe; I just put in what I have and love. Here's what I used in mine: grilled shrimp, carrots (julienned), vermicelli, Thai basil and mesclun salad mix. Put as little or as much as you like. For example, being a big basil lover, I put in at least 2-3 leaves per roll.

Roll them like you would a spring roll. You don't need anything to seal them. The rice paper, after you rehydrate it in water, will stick to itself. Make sure to have a damp paper towel on the finished product so they don't dry out. If during the process you find that the paper is torn, just wrap over your roll with another piece of rice paper.

I served the rolls with three condiments: sweet chili sauce (from the bottle), Nuoc Cham and Sriracha. I made the Nuoc Cham from scratch (fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, red pepper flakes) and adjusted the seasoning to my taste, but you can find a recipe pretty much anywhere.

The Summer Rolls will make a delicious light lunch or a tasty appetizer. Yum!

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