Rolling your own vietnamese spring rolls
We decided to make vietnamese spring rolls for dinner. They turned out great. We do these like once a month. It is fun to make them, they are very tasty. If you're watching your diet, these are also very healthy for you due to their flexibility in ingredients. I think the best part about it is that this whole dinner cost us about $6.00 in ingredients by the time we finished I was stuffed. Check out the pictures.
Starting with the lettuce at the top and moving clockwise, we have: lettuce, mint, tofu, spring rolls noodles (I don't know what they're actually called), tofu, cucumber, green onions, shrimp, pork and cilantro.
Take a large bowl, fill it with warm water (warmer than cooler), and dip your rice paper so it gets wet all over. Don't soak it in there, just dip it so its completely wet and bring it back to your plate.
Start loading up the ingredients. If you divide the paper in thirds, you should keep the ingredients in between the first and second sections closest to you. Fill in with whatever ingredients you want.
Here you see all the ingredients prior to rolling it up. Shrimp, lettuce, noodles, cilantro, cucumbers, and its hard to see, but there is some pork in there as well. You don't want to overload the roll because it will be tough to roll it without breaking. Trust me, I know this from experience.
It may take you a while to get it right. But you should roll the part closest to you over the ingredients while pushing the ingredients in. Then you'll feel the paper stick to itself, then roll a little bit more, then tuck in the sides and continue rolling until you reach the end.
That's what the paper looks like just after you get it wet. Wait 30 seconds to a minute and it will soak up all the water that remains and it will become soft. That's why you don't want to oversoak it. It will eventually get soft. If you dip it in the water too much it will break apart really easily.
After you put your ingredients in, you can add salt, pepper or other spices to taste. I use this mexican mixed spice called Tajin. It's awesome, I put it in a lot of stuff, but it is especially good when crispy veggies are involved.
After you roll one or two of them, enjoy. There is a sauce that you can make where you would dip them. It is made with Hoisin sauce, rice, sugar, peanut butter, chilli and a few other ingredients. It's awesome.
That's it. This is a very healthy, inexpensive, family-friendly meal, and if you've never made them yourself, it is a fun experience to try.
All of the photos are in Flickr.