Friday, September 5, 2008

Vietnamese-style summer rolls

OK, I will not claim that these are authentic Vietnamese Summer rolls.
But they were good. And, other than the chopping, they were easy to make.

Vietnamese-style Summer rolls

1 medium carrot - julienned
1 small cucumber - peeled, seeds removed and julienned
1/2 cup bean sprouts
4 to 5 green onions - julienned
1 bunch cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Ponzu sauce
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)

1 package thin rice noodles - optional - (I used mee krob type)
Cook about a handful of these according to package directions and let cool.

8 (8-inch) rice sheets (plus more in case some tear)
Warm water, for soaking rice sheets

So here, we go... a little picture show on making summer rolls.

First get all your veggies cut up and ready to go.

As I pointed out in the previous post, I find this ceramic blade slicer very handy.

I sliced the veggies thin, then used a chef's knife to cut the julienne strips.

Thin, thin, thin.
This did not work for the green onions though. I just used the knife for that.

Once all the veggies are chopped, combine the carrots, cucumbers, green onion and bean sprouts. Toss with soy or Ponzu sauce.

Assembly goes pretty fast, so you want to have all your ingredients on hand.
Have veggies, noodles and cilantro ready.

The rice sheets are dry and stiff and must be reconstituted in warm water.
I used a small sautee pan of warm water, just from the tap. No need for boiling. You will be working with your hands in this, so it should not be too hot.

Soak one sheet at a time in the water until the sheet is soft and pliable. If there are any large holes or tears, discard and start with a new sheet.

Carefully remove sheet to a work surface and spread it out as flat as possible.
This is where you need to work somewhat quickly so the sheet does not get too dry and stick to the surface.

In the center of the sheet, sprinkle some cilantro leaves.

Add a small portion of the noodles on top of that, then top with some of the veggie mix.

Fold one end then the other over, like above. Then fold a third side all the way over the veggie mixture. From here, roll it up tight like a little burrito. The last side should basically stick to the outside of the roll and seal itself.

To serve, I cut them in half and served with a few things: peanut sauce, hot mustard, red chili sauce and Ponzu mixed with a little honey.

These were vegetarian (no fish sauce in mine), but I think they would be good with some cold, cooked shrimp in there.

This was an experiment, but it was a fun one that turned out to be a tasty one, too. Use what you like, basically.
These were great as a starter. And with the leftover ingredients, I was able to quickly assemble a couple for my lunch the next day after diving.

OK. That's all I got for today.

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