Fresh Rolls, Vermont Style

Some call them Summer Rolls. Some call them Salad Rolls. I'm going to call them Fresh Rolls, and I am currently obsessed with their simple execution and complex flavors. It started when a family friend was explaining how easy it is to use rice paper wraps. Simply dip the paper in water, fill, and roll it up. Dip in peanut sauce or whatever. Easy as pie. This reminded me of a favorite food blog, Wandering Chopsticks, which has a helpful post about the use of rice paper for Vietnamese Goi Cuon. With all this knowledge, I finally made my own. I was blown away by how easy (and also inexpensive) these are to DIY. These cost $5 for 3 at the local co-op, but I think that would get you about 10+ homemade ones if you play it right! Here's what I did:

1. From Thai store, get 1 pkg of rice paper (they're round and cost $2.49) and a small jar of fish sauce.

2. Prep sauces. For peanut sauce, take about 2 T peanut butter and mix with water, just a sprinkle of water at a time because pb doesn't mix well with larger amounts. Once it's kind of runny, you can add splashes of tamari/soy sauce for the last mixing (instead of water). For fish sauce, combine about 1/4 cup warm water with 1/4 cup sugar and stir. Then add about 1/4 cup fish sauce. I also put in a generous squeeze of Sriracha hot sauce. (This is based on Wandering Chopsticks fish sauce recipe.)

Fish sauce left, peanut sauce right.
Fish sauce isn't normally that red;
I had hot water from boiling beets
so used that as my liquid base. (Tasty.)

3. Prep fillings. I used the following:

fresh mint, fresh basil, and fresh cilantro

strips of cooked egg (make an omelette
but don't turn it, then cool completely and slice),
strips of blanched carrot, strips of raw cucumber

4. Assemble. You'll need a wide shallow bowl or dish of water. Put a single rice paper sheet into water and press down so it's all wet. Then take it out and put on plate or work surface. As Wandering Chopsticks points out, it's OK if the rice paper is still a bit stiff as you start work. Arrange fillings and pour some peanut sauce over all.

Roll as described and illustrated at the Goi Cuon post.

Serve with fish sauce for dipping.


Here's the lunchbox I took to work. Such a fresh, healthy meal. Fresh rolls!

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Yum! I finally bought a package of rice paper for the first time, I can't wait to fill them with herby veggie goodness.