Pinch of Cumin

Vietnamese spring rolls with rice paper

Vietnamese cooking, the great unknown. Traditionally included in the same bag of Asiatic food -to which of course it belongs-, many people don’t know that it is considered Asia’s purest cooking, due to its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil and very selective vegetable-spice combinations.

Besides, vietnamese dishes are healthy and tasty, with very flexible techniques and a good balance of nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats). It seems they have everything, so let’s get on with it, since for sure you may be looking forward to beginning with something as easy as these spring rolls, that will delight the most foodies. As I have mentioned, they are easy to do, but laborious, so only when you have some time ahead. 😉

Have a good Sunday!

Ingredients for 10 units

10 rice paper wafers

2 steaks of chicken breast

2 carrots

5 mushrooms

1/2 zucchini

1 handful of soy sprouts

1 handful of cabbage

1 handful of sliced bacon

1 handful of peeled shrimps

2,5 tablespoons of soy sauce

Oil to fry

Directions

We are going to start preparing meat so that it gets cooler while we prepare the other ingredients.Fry lightly the two steaks of chicken breast and let them retrieve room temperature.

Peel carrots and zucchinni and chop them into 3cm long sticks (you can also do it into small cubes, the idea is that they are small pieces to be able to compact them when preparing the roll). Chop also mushrooms and cabbage into small pieces.

Sauté bacon in a skillet with a bit of very oil and after no more than 2 minutes add carrot sticks (or cubes). Stir it while you sauté them and when you see it is soft, add in this order: zucchini, cabbage, mushrooms, shrimps and soy sprouts, with a space of 1 minute between them, according to their cooking times. After adding soy sprouts, pour soy sauce and stir it well.

Take it out from heat and chop chicken steaks into cubes or sticks (I have done it in cubes this time). Add them to the vegetables and stir it so that ingredients are mixed homogeneously.

Now we go for rice paper wafers. They are quite fragile, so handle them with care when you take them out from the package, they are broken very easily.

Look for a container which is the same size as rice wafers (or a bit bigger) and fill it with hot water. Tap water is fine for this purpose, you do not need to heat it, since you are going to be putting wafers into and out of the water and if it is too hot you will burn your fingers :).

I introduce wafers in water independently, one after the other, and wait for about 2 minutes so that they are soft, which is more or less the time I need to prepare one roll. Some clear-thinking minds state that you can put all of them together into hot water at the same time, but in my experience they stick to each other and at the end you finish eating the filling alone, so better one after the other.

When it is soft, place wafer in a dishtowel or bumpy surface ( I do it in a wooden chopping board) and place 2 tablespoons of filling to ¼ diameter distance from the border of the wafer. Flatten it with your hands and cover it with the smallest part of the rice wafer, but do not start rolling it.

Next, do two folds perpendicularly to the last one (with right and left parts of the wafer, to the center). This action is done so that it is well sealed and nothing comes out from the sides. Now you can start rolling it, while you check that it is very firm. At the end, wet with warm water so that it is well sealed.

One more time, it is important that it is very firm and rigid when you have it in your hands. Otherwise it will come undone if you decide to fry it. In this case I have fried half of them, and baked the other half, although you can also eat them as they are, since the filling is already cooked and you only need a bit of sauce to wet them.

To be considered

As I have already mentioned in the directions, you can eat them as they are, fried or baked in oven. In the three cases, I always eat them with soy or sweet-and-sour sauces.

Fried are really good, but consider that the color of fried rice paper wafers is not the same as the one from Chinese spring rolls. The color is a super light brown, almost white. If you bake them, put a sulfuric paper on top of the baking tin so that they do not stick, and paint them with whisked egg before baking.

You can also fill them with anything you can think about. As examples already tested, I remark hard-boiled egg, any other type of meat, bamboo, onion, cucumber or pepper. In this case I did not have rice vermicelli noodles, which would have been much better, since the traditional recipe for the Vietnamese rolls fill includes them.

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2 Comments to "Vietnamese spring rolls with rice paper"

  1. Ignacio says:

    Buena pintilla, sí señora.

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