Prep: 30 min -
Cook: Uses cooked shrimp -
Total: 30 min
Easy, best when served fresh.
Yield: 12 spring rolls
These no-cook Vietnamese-style spring rolls are made with wonderfully pliable rice paper; you can use left-over shrimp (or chicken, or pork). It takes a while to get the ingredients together, but the actual rolling goes fairly quickly, especially once you've practiced on a batch or two. These are so good that we allow 5 per person.
1 small fresh chile, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon rice or other mild vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam p/a, available at Asian markets) or soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
medium-to-large shrimp, cooked, peeled, and cut in half the long way (precooked shrimp are okay, as are pork or chicken leftovers, diced) - if using small shrimp, allow 2 shrimp per roll
1 cup peeled and grated, shredded, or jullienned carrots
1 cup bean sprouts
2 scallions, cut into slivers the long way then cut to length of finished roll (3 - 4")
1 tsp per roll roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp per roll roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp per roll roughly chopped peanuts (salted are okay)
1 tsp per roll roughly chopped Thai or Genoa basil (slight absinthe or licorice taste)
rice paper, 8 to 10 inches in diameter, one sheet per roll
1 tsp plum sauce per roll
Bowl larger than diameter of spring rolls so that you can completely immerse the skins in water to soak and soften them; small individual bowls for the ingredients; clean, dry kitchen (dish) towel; ample work surface to deploy ingredients, soak wrappers, roll wrappers.
NOTE: You can leave out almost any two ingredients (basil, cilantro) and these still taste great! These might work with tofu or other vegetarian filler, but haven't tried it.
COMBINE the dipping sauce ingredients and set aside.
PREPARE the other ingredients and set them out on your work surface. Set out a large bowl of hot water (110 degrees to 120 degrees F) and a clean kitchen towel.
FULLY immerse a sheet of rice paper into the water for about 10 seconds, just until soft (don't let it become too soft; it will continue to soften as you work). Lay it on the towel.
SMEAR a dab of plum sauce in the middle of the rice paper, lay a few shrimp pieces and some slivers or sprinkles each of the carrots, bean sprouts, scallions, mint, cilantro, basil and peanuts. Fold and roll up the rice paper, keeping it fairly tight. Your rolls will improve with practice, but even your mistakes will be gobbled up!!