Still on Vietnamese food, this is another favourite dish of mine and my family loves it too. It is wholesome, fresh and so very easy once you prepare the ingredients.
It is a way of eating fresh vegetables in a palatable manner and it is good for communal eating and sharing . I like to do this for a party as it can be prepared in advance and not much cooking is required.
Besides it is great for hot summer days as it is so very refreshing.
I taught this dish in my cooking class recently and everyone raved about the simplicity of the fresh ingredients and the delicious sauce that came with it. It was also deemed to be so easy to do by everyone. So give it a try, my friends!
This sauce recipe is so very special as it came from a Australian friend who knew this Vietnamese lady who whipped up this sauce. I simply love this sauce. I make more than enough each time and use it for other dishes as accompaniment. The most easiest way is to pour this sauce onto Chinese rice rolls – chee cheong fun. Simply divine!
VIETNAMESE RICE ROLLS
20 pieces Vietnamese rice paper – Use the larger rice paper.
1 head of lettuce – washed and cut into big pieces 6 cm each
250 gms bean sprouts – clean and blanch.
1 cucumber – cut into strips about 6 cm
Vietnamese Mint leaves – pick out the leaves, wash and dry
5 spring onions, cut into 6 cm strips
2 rolls vermicelli– Soak in hot water for 3 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
500 gms fresh prawns – Remove, head, tail and shells. Steam for 3 minutes. Cut into 2 lengthwise.
6 tbsp Hoi sin sauce
2 tbsp sugar – you can reduce this.
1 tbsp caramel black sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp peanut butter
2 cloves minced garlic
Lime juice – as required
Roasted crushed peanuts – as required
Sesame seeds – as required
Warm Water as required
METHOD FOR SAUCE:
Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to form a thick but runny consistency. Taste and add lime juice and water accordingly. Keep aside. Garnish with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds when serving the rolls.
If you want to keep this sauce longer, then heat the sesame oil in a pan, add all the ingredients and simmer for 2 mins. Cool and garnish with sesame seeds and roasted crushed peanuts.
METHOD FOR RICE ROLLS:
Prepare all the ingredients and keep it chilled.
When making the rolls, place all ingredients in front of you.
Get a large bowl of warm water.
Put 1 rice paper in the bowl of water, wait 30 sec, remove and place on a board.
Arrange the lettuce, vermicelli, cucumber, spring onions & beansprouts one on top of each other.
Put 2 or more pieces of prawns above the lettuce and place mint leaves in between.
Fold the flap nearest to you over the lettuce, fold the 2 flaps on the sides and then roll it firmly making a round roll shape ( like popiah which is also known as spring rolls). The prawns and mint leaves will be visible once you have rolled it into a tight parcel.
Place on serving dish and serve with the sauce.
To enjoy, dip the rolls into the sauce to eat.
If you are a vegetarian – leave out the prawns and instead use grilled tofu/haloumi cheese or paneer.
Cut all the vegetables into same lengths.
You may substitute with other raw vegetables.
Choose prawns that are of medium sized. Too big prawns don’t look good in this recipe.
You may cook the prawns in stock to make it more tasty but this step is not necessary as the sauce makes up by bringing all the flavours together in a bite.
To make the rolling easier, roll tight the lettuce with all the vegetables within, and then place the prawns above, continue to fold in the sides and complete the roll.