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VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS - A STUDY IN FRESH FLAVOURS AND TEXTURES

Forget those nasty greasy fried spring rolls that I am sure can be good, but I haven’t eaten a good one yet. These are the antithesis of those. Clean, fresh, aromatic and abounding in flavours and textures. Easy to make and if you like you can also just spread the ingredients on plates on the table, with a bowl of warm water to soak the sheets in and communally construct them. Enjoyable and saves almost all the work. Win, win. I always buy whole prawns and peel them, so that I can make stock with the heads and shells for another day.

For ten rolls: 20 prawns 100 g pork fillet 40 gr raw peanuts Bean sprouts (blanched) Plenty of herbs: coriander, mint, thai holy basil Rice vermicelli Spring roll sheets (banh Trang) Prepare all the ingredients. Poach the pork fillet in salted water until cooked. Cool and chop finely. If whole, peel the prawns. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the prawns, bring back to the boil and they should be done. Drain and refresh the prawns in cold water to arrest the cooking process. Toast, cool and crush the peanuts. Blanch the beansprouts in boiling water for thirty seconds and refresh in cold water. Pick the herbs you want and put together. Soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water for three minutes or until tender. Refresh in cold water and drain. Mix a little veg oil into them to with your hands to stop them sticking to each other. For the sauce:


Equal amounts of: Fish Sauce Rice vinegar Finely chopped ginger Finely chopped garlic Finely chopped chilli (without seeds) or NOT A little sugar A little water



Mix all the ingredients together except sugar and water. Add the sugar to taste and then the water to dilute the strong flavours.


To construct:

Have a bowl of warmish water and dip one sheet in for maybe fifteen seconds until it begins to soften. You will soon figure out how long they need. Fill the middle in the shape of a sausage, fold in the ends at the thin end of the shape and then roll tightly.

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