Zaq's Snacks :D

Adventures in vegan baking

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Vietnamese spring rolls!
sweedish chef
... is what I call these puppies! I have been vehemently informed by some that these are UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES to be called spring rolls, but the internet agrees with me that these can be called Vietnamese spring rolls so there. I call them the only acceptable dinner when the temperature rises inexplicably to 35°C for a week straight before the end of May (seriously, wtf Mother Nature??). Rice paper wrapped around vermicelli noodles, with mint, bean sprouts, and carrot, served with a yummy, savory peanut-hoisin sauce. Funny story: shortly after I became vegetarian, I happened to notice a bottle of "vegetarian hoisin sauce" at the grocery store. I was all like "what could possibly be un-vegetarian about hoisin sauce?" so I mentioned it to a friend and she just about peed her pants laughing at me because apparently hoisin means oyster. So make sure you read the label when you're buying hoisin sauce, and be wary of restaurant hoisin!

This recipe is obviously very easily scale-able to the number of people you're trying to feed. I usually find that my limiting ingredient is the mint - I have a mint plant growing (hooray!) but if you're buying a little pack from the grocery store, I'd say that an average package would make about 12 rolls?? Sorry to be so vague.

Rice paper wraps (~12??)
Fresh mint (um, a bunch)
about 2 carrots, julienned
bean sprouts... a bunch
cooked vermicelli

For the sauce:
1/2 cup vegetarian hoisin sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 clove garlic
~ 1 tsp chili flakes

Cook the vermicelli according to the package directions. While the noodles are going, peel and julienne your carrots, rise your bean sprouts, and dice your mint. When the noodles are finished, drain them and rinse them with cold water so that you don't burn the effing hell out of your fingers and feel like a moron >_>

Set up a workspace with all of your ingredients, a soaking dish for the rice wraps, a rolling surface, and a clean plate for finished wraps:

Soak one rice paper wrap in water for about 30 seconds. The water doesn't need to be overly hot; you'll know that it's ready when it juuust looses its rigidity. If you soak it too long, it will become a gelatinous mess and it'll probably tear. No big deal, those puppies come in packs of like 100 and they cost approximately nothing.

Carefully lay out your now-floppy rice wrap. In the centre of the wrap, place a small handful of noodles, a couple of bean sprouts, some carrots, and a bit of mint. Here's the approximate proportions that I use:

Then fold up the bottom, and fold in the two sides:

Finish rollin'!

For the sauce: Chop your garlic finely, then blend well with the other ingredients. That's it! I didn't take any pictures because it is a brown goo and it doesn't look very appetizing but trust me it is delicious.

Dip your rolls in the sauce and try not to melt as the temperature outside skyrockets. Yay!

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