Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My favorite appetizer

Allow me to introduce you to my favorite appetizer of all time

Since I first tasted these little beauties at a Vietnamese restaurant in Portland about 7 or 8 years ago, I've been in love with them.  I always thought they were way too involved to make at home, but I was wrong.  My mom makes these a lot, and I have discovered they are pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Instead of a recipe, I'll give some ideas for success.  Just know that the "learn by doing" philosophy really works here.  I prefer more vegetables and fewer noodles, but my husband is the opposite.  Some might prefer vegetarian salad rolls, but I like mine with shrimp.  Experiment and find your ideal salad roll. You will not be disappointed.

You will need 
- spring roll wrappers like this:

I like the square ones because I think they are more user-friendly, but you can use the round ones if you prefer.
Then, it's up to you what else you include.  Here are my favorites:

- Cooked rice vermicelli
- julienned carrot
- green leaf or butter lettuce
- julienned cucumber
- bean sprouts
- cooked chicken, cut in thin strips
- cooked shrimp, cut in half lengthwise
- green onion, julienned
- cilantro leaves
- Thai basil leaves

Put about 1/2" of water in a 13 x 9 pan.
Soak one spring roll wrapper for about 20-30 seconds, until it is very flexible but doesn't tear.
Put it on a plate, and add the filling ingredients.  Less is more here!
Fold the bottom corner up over the filling, fold in the side corners, and roll up, burrito style. 

Cut each spring roll in half on the diagonal to serve. 
I like to dip them in hoisin sauce mixed with chopped peanuts.


Cara said...

I love making those too!

Amy said...

These look great! I will have to give them a try.

Steph said...

I love those types of springrolls! They're so much healthier than the fried varieties.

Joelen said...

Yum - I love these for a light and filling snack! Great job... and the next time you make them, try them with fresh mint (a tip I learned from a Thai friend.) Another way I like enjoying these ingredients is tossing them together as a salad, without the rice wrapper. Sometimes I even prefer a springroll salad over the actual roll - lol :)

Sherri said...

oooh! How summery and delicious! Makes me want to have a party :)

Jaime said...

these look great! i'm vietnamese and grew up eating these - my mom also adds some chopped mint leaves to them.