If you have never been to a Vietnamese restaurant and tried the steaming hot pho soup, vermicelli bowls, or spring/salad rolls, then you are missing out. Vietnamese restaurants are one of my favorite places to go and grab a bite, as the meals are not only delicious, but one of the more healthier options when it comes to eating out. Spring rolls aside, the vermicelli bowls come with an abundance of vegetables, rice noodles and your choice of protein (shrimp, pork, or tofu).
As a starter, you can try the salad rolls. These are the healthier sister version of the spring roll as they are not wrapped up and deep-fried. Instead they are rolled in thin rice paper and served with an amazing peanut/hoisin sauce.
I love these salad rolls so much, that I decided I would embark on an adventure and try them out myself.
I will warn you that although these rolls are DELICIOUS, they require quite a bit of time, skill, and patience. I had to watch a couple YouTube videos to ensure that I got the rolling portion correct, so I would advise the same before trying (this video is great).
- Salad Rolls
- Approx 15 shrimp, cooked and sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin 2 inch long slices
- 1 bag of bean sprouts
- Half cucumber, cut into thin 2 inch long slices
- Basil leaves
- Package of rice paper (At least 10 pieces, plus a couple extra for practice!)
- Iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 2 cups cooked vermicelli noodles, cooled down
- Peanut Sauce
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons chile-garlic paste (I used sambal oleyk)
- Cook the vermicelli noodles according to the instructions on the package.
- As they are cooking, cut up the carrots, cucumber and lettuce in thin strips (about 2 inches long) and wash/dry the bean sprouts.
- Slice the cooked shrimp in half lengthwise, so they sit flat on a cutting board. Place the above ingredients as well as the basil leaves around a work surface (you will need everything within arms reach to roll these!)
- Fill a large bowl with hot water (this is for your rice paper). Preparing one roll at a time, dip the rice paper into the water for about 10 seconds or until it is soft.
- Place the prepared rice paper on a wood cutting board or a smooth surface (a damp kitchen towel will work too) and lay three shrimp halves in the middle, cut side up
- Add the basil leaves, a small handful of vermicelli, bean sprouts, carrots, and cucumber on top.You will probably have to play around with the quantities to figure out the ideal amount for rolling
- To roll, fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding it firmly in place, fold over the sides so that they are wrapped up neatly. Continue rolling until the rest of the rice paper has been used up.
- Repeat steps 5-7 for each roll
- For the Sauce
- Add all the ingredients together in a bowl, and whisk until fully combined. If it is difficult to mix, heat up in the microwave for about 15 seconds.
- Dip the rolls into the sauce – delicious!