Vietnamese-Style Fresh Spring Rolls
In our experience, fresh spring rolls ordered at most restaurants rarely live up to expectations. Making them at home may seem daunting but it is well worth the effort. We like to use our Spicy Asian Tofu as the main protein in our rolls but we also love the traditional poached shrimp. Play will the filling to find what you like best.
MAKES: 8 Servings
PREP/COOK TIME:40 minutes
2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 ounces rice vermicelli
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 jalapeno or Thai chili, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 large English cucumber, peeled, halved, and cut into matchsticks
4 leaves Boston lettuce, halved lengthwise
8 (8 inch) round rice paper wrappers
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil or mint leaves torn into 1/2 inch pieces or left whole if small
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
8 ounces of Spicy Asian Tofu cut into 1/4 inch thick 3 inch long slices or:
8 ounces cooked extra large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), chilled and sliced in half lengthwise
FOR THE PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup water (or more as needed)
2 teaspoon Asian chili -garlic sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons peanut or canola oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Combine lime juice, fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl.
Bring 1 1/2 quarts water to boil in a kettle. Place noodles in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the noodles and stir once. Let noodles soak until they are tender but not mushy (about 12 to 14 minutes) stirring once halfway through soaking. Drain the noodles, transfer back to bowl and add 2 tablespoons lime juice mixture and toss to coat.
Combine carrot, peanuts, and jalapeno in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice mixture and toss to combine. Toss cucumber with remaining lime juice mixture in a separate bowl.
Spread a clean damp dish towel on counter. Fill a 9 inch pie plate with 1 inch room temperature water. Have a second clean, damp dish towel ready.
Immerse 1 wrapper in water until just pliable; about 2 minutes. Lay softened wrapper on dish towel.
Working quickly, lay lettuce leave in middle of wrapper. Add 6 basil or mint and 6 cilantro leaves on top of the lettuce. Arrange 5 cucumber matchsticks horizontally on top of the lettuce and herbs and top with 1 tablespoon carrot mixture. Arrange about 2 tablespoons noodles on top of carrots. Then top with a few long strips to the Spicy Asian Tofu or shrimp.
Fold bottom 2 inch border of wrapper up over filling. Fold left edge, then right edge of wrapper over filling. Roll to top edge of wrapper to form a tight cylinder. Cover with the second damp towel to keep moist and repeat the process with remaining wrappers. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.
STORAGE: Spring rolls are beat eaten fresh but can be kept in the refrigerator up to 4 hours.