Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Vietnamese Fresh Rice Spring Rolls

These rolls are as fresh as fresh can be. Prepared in a jiffy and so refreshing to eat, these rolls are a perfect starter on a hot summer day. I have recently joined a cooking group which meets fortnightly and consists of members from across the globe. There are over 300 members from across 73 countries divided into 26-27 groups of 10-12 members each. The members of each group meet fortnightly or weekly or monthly and one of them hosts the session each time with a cooking demo and followed by a lunch thereafter. Not only do you get to learn and taste different cuisines free of cost, you also meet wonderful people from across the globe and get to know different cultures and eating habits. Isn't that a wonderful group to be in? I am completely loving being a part of it and this recipe is just the beginning of many such sessions (read recipes) that I shall be attending (tasting and trying) in the future. So stay tightly tuned!! 
Ingredients 
Fot the rolls
Rice paper sheets preferably 8" (else it gets too small and fat to roll)
1/2 cup Rice flour vermicelli 
Few leaves of lettuce and cilantro 
Few slices of mango cut lengthwise 
Few slices of baby cucumber cut lengthwise 
Handful of shrimps 
1/4 cup boiled and shredded chicken 
Few pieces of an omelette cut lengthwise (optional, I skipped)

For the sauce 
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped 
1" piece of ginger finely chopped 
2 tsp brown sugar
5 tsp sesame oil
5 tsp extra virgin olive oil 
6 tsp light soya sauce 
2 tsp lime juice (or 3/4 tsp vinegar)
2 extra hot chillies chopped 

Direction
Prepare the sauce first. One thing to note about this sauce is that it can and is better prepared little ahead so that the flavors are well blended and infused for maximum taste. The left over sauce can be enjoyed with boiled noodles (or the vermicelli if left over) or even with steamed rice. It is simply delicious! Just mix all ingredients under sauce and keep it aside until used. If storing for the next day, keep it in the refrigerator. The vinegar/lemon juice helps keep it fresh for longer. 
Next get the vermicelli ready. Soak the rice vermicelli in tap water for 10-15 minutes till slightly soft. Now take a bowl of boiling water (off the stove) and dip the soaked and drained vermicelli in the hot water and keep it soaked for a maximum of 10 minutes or until just soft. Take care as too much soaking in the hot water will make them soggy. This is how they should look. 

Now time to prepare the rolls. Take a huge bowl of room temperature drinking water and set your station with the filling well arranged in one plate and the dry sheets and the bowl of water on one side. 
Dip a rice sheet in the big bowl of water and quickly take it out and place it in your kitchen counter or plate. Fill it up with all the ingredients starting with the lettuce, cilantro, mango, cucumber, shrimps, chicken, omelette strips, and the vermicelli. Now roll it up carefully from one end and tucking the filling in as you proceed. When you reach the end, just fold in the two edges from both ends. They will stick to the surface. Place the roll on a plate and proceed to make the next one. It is possible that the sheets tear in the process of rolling. That is when you soak them too long or the sheets are not too fresh. Don't worry, just procced and a few torn edges do not really matter. 
Serve with the sauce and enjoy this popular Vietnamese delicacy!! 


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