Friday, May 28, 2010

Spring rolls - Vietnamese Style

When I was in Ho Chi Minh city a couple of years back, I tried almost everything under the sun. From deep fried snake skin to stir fried crocodile, I found the underbelly of Vietnamese cuisine fascinating with a little touch of mystique. I mean, they had entire birds and snakes trapped in a bottles of whiskey which supposedly cured a variety of ailments from rheumatism to impotency.

While I bought a small bottle of cobra-whiskey as a keepsake, don't ask me whether it does the trick. It still sits on my souvenir shelf in case I suffer one of those ailments in the future.

Back to the Vietnamese cuisine however, spring rolls were definitely a favourite for me next to the ubiquitous pho noodles. In fact, i enjoyed spring rolls so much that i brought home four large packets of rice papers which I had initially thought would be unavailable back home. However, rice paper being one of Vietnam's chief contribution to the culinary world, i found it readily available at my supermarket though it was of a smaller size than the ones i saw in Vietnam.

Vietnamese spring rolls are simple to do although the wrapping part takes a little bit of skill which unfortunately I have little to no talent for. While i do not follow the exact ingredients required for a proper Vietnamese springrolls, i still found it pretty much authentic (as i remembered). When i made some for my friends at a home dinner, they pretty much gobbled everything down in record time.


1 pack of rice paper
20g glass noodles -soaked in hot water
300g grey prawns - shelled
basil leaves - shredded
local lettuce or butterhead lettuce
bird's eye chilli - diced

Boil prawns in salt and water
Wet rice paper individually.
Place a small portion of glass noodles, lettuce, basil and two prawns on moist rice paper and wrap
except chilli and fishsauce.
Make spicy fish sauce dip.

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