I spent a wonderful day out and about town with my house guest yesterday. For lunch we stopped by our regular Vietnamese restaurant for a steaming bowl of pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup). The noodles were delicious and they came in huge bowls. Instead of busting our diet in a day, we decided to save the spring rolls for the next day by making them ourselves at home. Vietnamese Style Spring Rolls are relatively easy to make and are perfect for a light and healthy lunch. With a Vietnamese grocery store conveniently located just down the street from the restaurant, we drove there after lunch to pick up the necessary ingredients.
As I did not make a shopping list, I forgot two things that I normally put in my version of these spring rolls. I forgot the mint leaves which I had to leave out altogether and the cucumber which I substituted with blanched zucchinis. Though the rice noodles in Vietnamese spring rolls are normally left plain, I prefer to flavor them lightly with salt, pepper, ad sesame oil to make it tasty for kids who usually do not use dips with their rolls. I also left out the fish sauce for the dip but feel free to add some if you prefer.
- 24 medium sized shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 4 oz thin rice noodles, soaked
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 12 round 8.5-inch diameter rice wrappers
- 6 sprigs Thai basil, stems removed
- 12 small Romaine lettuce leaves, stem removed
- 1 small carrot, julienned
- 1 small cucumber, julienned
- ¼ cup garlic chili sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Lightly salt the water. Add shrimps and cook for about 2 minutes or until shrimps curl and turn pink. Remove and drain. Add rice noodles and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove and drain. Toss noodles with salt, pepper, and sesame oil.
- Slice shrimps into half lengthwise but not all the way, leaving the last ½ inch of tail end uncut.
- This allows shrimp to be splayed so that it is easier for it to be rolled in wrapper.
- Combine all dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water. Dip one rice wrapper into warm water and remove quickly. Lay wrapper on a cutting board. Rice wrapper will soften. Place 3 to 4 basil leaves about ⅓ way from the edge. On top of basil, place one lettuce, 3 to 4 strips julienned carrots and cucumber, a small amount of rice noodles, and another 3 to 4 basil leaves followed by 2 full shrimps.
- Fold wrapper onto shrimp, roll so that the basil at the bottom is now on top. Fold in sides and finish rolling. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Slice roll diagonally in half and serve with dipping sauce.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎