I always wonder when people say “authentic” recipe, what do they actually mean. The first time any food is made is the authentic recipe. Anything after that is just adoption.
Spring rolls is one such food which we all savor in various forms, yet barely know where it comes from.
To satiate your curious minds, Spring rolls were originated in China as a spring seasonal food and traveled around the world where they were adopted and modified according to the local likings.
Vietnamese spring rolls are summer delicacies known as gỏi cuốn locally
Typically Vietnamese spring rolls are made from pork or shrimp, but vegetarian spring rolls made with fresh seasonal vegetables and hydrated rice wrap which has abundance of flavors and freshness.
We were driving to Cambodia from Ho chi ming city, Vietnam and had a stop over in Vietnamese war land (Cu Chi tunnels). We were so amazed to learn about the strategies of war that Vietnamese used, shoes and clothes that they wore during war, weapons that they used and not to forget we had an opportunity to taste the fire roasted Yam that solders were eating during war time… no wonder they won the battle! Well not to bore you guys, buy that’s where we got opportunity to see how rice paper are actually made. It looks so simple yet sophisticated.
Here is the video of making the rice paper straight from Vietnam.
Making of rice paper in Vietnam
Traveling as vegetarians was hard couple of years ago but now the world is adapting to vegan so quickly that we find vegetarian version of anything that you can imagine, Vietnam is one such place where we thought we will have tough time finding vegetarian food but surprisingly we had most amazing vegetarian and vegan food that we never even expected. One such great appealing dish is Summer fresh rolls! It was served with Peanut sauce and soy sauce but my to go is always peanut sauce. Its sweet, salty and tangy!
All you will need to make the warp is bunch of julienned seasonal veggies and rice wraps with some mint for flavor. For the peanut sauce you need, unsweetened peanut butter, maple syrup, soy sauce ,sesame oil, lemon juice and chilly paste. If you want a little more kick then I recommend using chilly garlic paste instead of just chilly paste.
For the rice wrap!
For peanut sauce
Note: I have tried making peanut sauce using sweetened peanut butter as well and I skipped adding maple syrup as it is already sweetened !
Video on how to wrap the rice roll
Video of rolling the rice paper
Enjoy the recipe for Vietnamese fresh spring rolls and peanut sauce. If you make it , so leave a comment and rate the recipe!
Vietnamese Fresh spring roll
- Cheese cloth or any lint-free cloth
For Vietnamese fresh spring roll
- 8 Sheets Rice paper
- 1/2 Cup Rice noodles
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Sesame oil
- 1 Cup Red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 Carrot Julienned
- 1 Bell pepper Julienned
- 1 Cucumber Julienned
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Mint finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Basil finely chopped
- 1/4 Cup Microgreens Optional
For the peanut sauce
- 1/2 Cup salted creamy peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp Maple syrup
- 1 Tsp Chilli garlic sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sesame oil
- 1/4 Cup Water
Make Vietnamese fresh spring roll
- Cook rice noodles: Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions.
- Drain: Drain and run noodles under cool water and transfer to a bowl , toss the noodles with the sesame oil and salt, and set aside.
- Prepare: Fill a shallow plate with an inch of warm water. Take cheese cloth and place it close to the plate of water. Make sure your fillings ingredients are within reach.
- Wet the rice noodles: Place one rice paper in warm water and let it rest for about 20 seconds. Wait until the sheet is workable but not soggy. Carefully lay it flat on wet cheese cloth.
- Fill: Cover the lower third of the paper with a spoon full of rice noodles and add few pieces of bell pepper, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, mint, basil and few micro greens (Leave about 1 inch of open rice paper around the edges) Check out the video above on how to roll the wrap.
- Roll up the wraps: Fold the shorter sides on the filling first then fold the lower edge up over the filling, rolling upward just until the filling is compactly enclosed and tuck in the wrap to hold firmly. Lastly, roll it up tight.
- For remaining ingredients: Repeat this with the remaining rice wraps and ingredients.
- Serve: Cut it in half and dip it with peanut sauce or soy sauce
Make peanut sauce
- Whisk: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil and chili garlic paste.
- Consistency : Whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to thin the sauce as needed. If you think your sauce is thin enough then skip this step.
- Adjust flavors: Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, chili garlic sauce (or red chili or red pepper) for heat, lime juice for acidity, or soy sauce for saltiness. If your sauce has become too thin, add more nut butter. If it’s too thick, thin with more water. For a fun flavor twist, add some fresh grated ginger to taste.
- Serve: Serve the peanut sauce on the side of spring rolls and enjoy
- You can make this gluten free by using certified gluten free noodles and use tamari instead of soy sauce
- If you do not want to use maple syrup , replace it with honey.
- If you are allergic to peanut , Substitute peanut butter with almond butter
- For nut free- use sunflower butter
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