Everyone in my office is watching their weight, so when we planned out latest potluck, I had a hard time thinking of something portable, healthy and delicious. I came across this recipe on thekitchn.com for Vietnamese Spring Rolls and decided to make some for my coworkers to indulge in without feeling guilty. They were instantly a hit among my fellow office peeps. Check out the link for the recipe. Below are some of the photos I took of the process and some tips on getting those sticky wrappers to roll up pretty easily.
I love all the colorful veggies that go into these. As for my prep, I cut the cucumber and carrot into little sticks. Slice thinly the radish. I like to separate the various greens. The recipe linked above includes red bell pepper, but I opted not to use it. I added Thai basil leaves and Romaine leaves with the ribs removed.
To marinate/season the veggies, you will use 1 part rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and 2 parts fish sauce to make up the seasoning for the carrots, radish and cucumber.
There was a pretty big selection of noodles at my local shop. I picked these noodles based on their cool packaging. Noodles will be placed into hot water for several minutes to soften.
I got too excited and forgot to take a photo of the rice paper wrappers. They are hard, translucent, thin discs, which soften in hot water after a few seconds. Only place the wrappers in the water one at a time, otherwise they will stick together and are difficult to separate.
Once the wrappers are softened, lay the wrapper gently onto a cutting board. If the wrapper sticks to itself, dip into the warm water for a moment and it will unstick. Start piling your fillings as close to the bottom edge as possible. Begin with the lettuce leaf, then the veggies, noodles and finally the herbs.
Start rolling the wrapper around the filling, tucking with your fingers as you go, to get it as tight as possible. Roll twice over the filling, then fold the two ends over and you will have something that looks like this:
Keep rolling and one is done. Place the finished rolls on a moist towel to keep them from drying out. I made these vegetarian, but you can add cooked shrimp, shredded pork or chicken. Accompany with spicy peanut sauce.