Vietnamese spring rolls a Vietnamese dish was voted by CNN in the “50 most delicious dishes in the world” list in 2011. Not too complicated; you need to prepare all the ingredients and a few simple steps. You will have delicious spring rolls at home.
1. What You Need To Make Vietnamese Spring Rolls
1.1. Rice Paper
Rice paper, an essential component of Vietnamese spring rolls, is a thin, translucent sheet made primarily from rice flour and water. It is a versatile and gluten-free wrapper that plays a pivotal role in creating these delectable and refreshing rolls. Rice paper is a staple in many Asian cuisines, known by various names such as “banh trang” in Vietnamese.
Rice paper’s delicate nature is what makes it ideal for spring rolls. It is stiff and brittle when dry but quickly transforms into a soft and pliable wrapper when soaked briefly in warm water. This process allows you to encase an assortment of fresh ingredients, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.
The mild, neutral taste of rice paper doesn’t overpower the fillings, allowing the vibrant flavors of the ingredients within to shine through. Its translucent appearance showcases the colorful contents of the spring roll, making it an enticing and visually appealing dish.
1.2. Rice Vermicelli
Rice vermicelli, one type of Vietnamese Noodles, is another key ingredient in Vietnamese spring rolls. These thin, delicate noodles are made from rice flour, making them gluten-free and a light, healthy addition to the rolls.
Rice vermicelli provides a satisfying chewiness and acts as the primary carbohydrate component of the spring rolls. These noodles are typically cooked and then cooled before being incorporated into the rolls. Their mild, slightly sweet flavor complements the other ingredients and adds a delightful textural contrast.
The absorbent nature of rice vermicelli allows it to soak up the flavors of the dipping sauce and the herbs and proteins within the spring rolls, enhancing the overall taste experience.
1.3. Shrimp & Pork Belly
Shrimp and pork belly are classic protein choices for Vietnamese spring rolls. These ingredients offer a delightful blend of flavors and textures that elevate the rolls to a higher culinary level.
Shrimp, when cooked and sliced in half lengthwise, provides a succulent and slightly sweet seafood element. Their vibrant pink color contrasts beautifully with the other ingredients, enhancing the visual appeal of the rolls.
Pork belly, when cooked until tender and thinly sliced, introduces a rich and savory depth to the spring rolls. The combination of tender pork belly and succulent shrimp creates a harmonious balance between land and sea, ensuring each bite is a burst of flavor.
1.4. Lettuce Leaves
Lettuce leaves serve as the foundation of Vietnamese spring rolls, offering a crisp and refreshing base. Varieties such as romaine, butterhead, or leaf lettuce work wonderfully for this purpose.
The lettuce leaves add a delightful crunch to each bite, contributing to the textural diversity of the rolls. Their fresh, slightly sweet flavor complements the herbs and proteins, creating a well-rounded taste profile.
Lettuce leaves also play a crucial role in keeping the spring rolls structurally sound. They help hold the fillings in place, preventing them from spilling out when rolled.
1.5. Vietnamese Herbs
Vietnamese spring rolls are renowned for their aromatic and herbaceous qualities, thanks to the inclusion of fresh Vietnamese herbs. A medley of herbs such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil infuses the rolls with an irresistible fragrance and a burst of flavor.
Mint leaves impart a cool, refreshing note, cilantro adds a citrusy and herbal kick, and Thai basil contributes an anise-like sweetness. The combination of these herbs elevates the spring rolls, making each bite a tantalizing journey for the taste buds.
The vibrant green color of these herbs contrasts beautifully with the other ingredients, enhancing both the visual appeal and the overall dining experience.
2. How To Make Spring Rolls
- 10-12 rice paper wrappers
- 1/2 pound pork belly
- 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup fresh lettuce leaves (butter lettuce or Romaine)
- 1 cup fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, and Thai basil leaves)
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
- Rice vermicelli noodles
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
- Cook the pork belly: Grill or pan-fry the pork belly until it’s cooked through and has a crispy exterior. Slice it into thin strips.
- Cook the shrimp: Boil the shrimp in salted water until they turn pink and opaque, then slice them in half lengthwise.
- Prepare the vegetables and herbs by washing and slicing them into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.
- Cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions, rinse with cold water, and drain well.
Step 2: Soften the Rice Paper Wrappers
- Fill a large shallow dish with warm water. Submerge one rice paper wrapper into the water for about 5-10 seconds or until it becomes pliable but not too soft.
Step 3: Assemble the Spring Rolls
- Place the softened rice paper wrapper on a clean and damp surface.
- Add a small amount of lettuce leaves, fresh herbs, cucumber slices, carrot slices, bean sprouts (if using), and a small portion of sliced pork belly and shrimp in the center of the wrapper, leaving enough space at the sides to fold.
- Add a small amount of cooked rice vermicelli noodles on top of the other ingredients.
Step 4: Roll the Spring Rolls
- Carefully fold the sides of the rice paper wrapper over the filling.
- Start rolling from the bottom (the side closest to you), making sure to tuck the ingredients tightly as you roll away from yourself.
- Continue rolling until the spring roll is sealed.
Continue this process with the remaining rice paper wrappers and filling ingredients. Serve the Vietnamese spring rolls immediately with the Vietnamese peanut sauce on the side.
3. Frequently Asked Questions
3.1. What is the Difference Between Spring Roll & Vietnamese Roll?
The main differences between spring rolls and Vietnamese rolls are cooking method and texture. While Vietnamese rolls are crispy and deep-fried, spring rolls are soft, fresh, and not cooked. Both types of rolls offer a delicious combination of flavors and are popular in various parts of the world.
3.2. Are Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls Healthy?
Yes, Vietnamese fresh spring rolls are considered a healthy food option. They are made with fresh, wholesome ingredients, and the preparation method does not involve deep-frying, making them a lighter and more nutritious choice compared to traditional fried spring rolls.
Spring rolls are a suitable dish for hot weather days because it brings a fresh and greedy taste. You know how to make Vietnamese spring rolls at home with just a few simple steps.