"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Andy & Yihsin's Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I recently made summer rolls for dinner and while they were yummy, they were not even close to Vietnamese spring rolls. My first encounter with Vietnamese spring rolls was when I went to Hanoi, Vietnam while studying abroad in Singapore. Every little nook and alley was jam packed with small plastic tables and colored chairs, the kind you used in Kindergarten while doing art projects. Women were crouched down with large flat pans and mounds of lightly fried Vietnamese spring rolls oozing with delicious aromas and flavors. Throughout the night markets and at little cafes, you would have the option of fried or fresh spring rolls. I loved the crispy outside of the fried ones but in the hot and humid weather I nearly always opted for the fresh spring rolls. On a recent dinner gathering, my good friends Andy and Yihsin teamed up to make and roll  the most delicious spring rolls I've had since the alleys of Vietnam. Here is a picture of Andy and Yihsin, working a filling and rolling assembly line to make their own mound of delicious spring rolls:
They served their spring rolls with a delicious fish sauce pictured here:

Rice papers
Rice noodles
Bean sprouts
Beets, thinly sliced like matchsticks
Peanuts, crushed
Carrots, shredded

For sauce:
Fish sauce
Jalapenos, diced

1. Stir sugar and salt in a pot of boiling water until it dissolves.  Pour it into a large boil filled with ice. Put in the raw shrimp and let it sit in the brine refrigerated for 20-60 minutes. Remove from brine and drain and rinse it thoroughly.
2. Cook the rice noodles according to directions.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the fish sauce, cover and refrigerate.
4. Working with one wrapper at a time, place the wrapper in a shallow pan of room temperature water, about 7-10 seconds per a side. Then place the sheet on a plate, fill it with all  the ingredients and wrap into a summer roll. Enjoy!

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