This variation on the traditional Vietnamese spring roll is refreshing, healthful and herbaceous. Vegetables, herbs and meats are wrapped in rice paper and eaten dipped in a blend of fish sauce and lime juice.
- Fish sauce and lime dipping sauce
- For the Filling:
- 3-4 ounces dried thin rice stick noodles
- Boiling water, as needed
- 3/4 pound boneless pork loin, in one piece
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- For Assembly:
- 12 dried large rice paper rounds, each 8 1/2 inches in diameter
- 12 large red-leaf lettuce leaves or other soft, pliable lettuce, stiff stems discarded
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely julienned, then tossed with 1 teaspoon sugar until softened, about 10 minutes
- 1 small English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled and finely julienned
- 12 fresh mint sprigs
- 12 fresh cilantro sprigs, plus extra leaves for filling
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Companion recipe: Fish Sauce and Lime Dipping Sauce
Prepare the dipping sauce; set aside.
FOR THE FILLING:
Place the noodles in a bowl, and add boiling water to cover. Let stand for 1 minute. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and set aside.
Place the pork in a saucepan, add water to cover and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until opaque throughout, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut across the grain into very thin slices about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Set aside.
Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add salt to taste and the shrimp. Boil until they curl slightly and are opaque throughout, 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise, pat dry and set aside.
FOR THE RICE PAPERS:
Dampen several clean kitchen towels with water. Fill a pie plate with cold water. Spread a damp towel on a flat work surface. Dip 1 rice paper round at a time into the water and spread it flat on the towel. Continue dipping and laying the rice papers in a single layer. When you run out of room, lay a damp towel on top of the rounds and continue, always alternating a layer of rice papers with a damp towel. Let the rice papers stand until pliable, about 1 minute or longer.
Place 1 pliable rice paper round on the work surface and position a lettuce leaf on the lower third of it, tearing the leaf as needed to make it fit and leaving uncovered a 1-inch border on the right and left edges. Take a small amount (about 1/12) of the rice stick noodles and spread in a line across the width of the leaf. Arrange 1/12 each of the pork slices, carrot and cucumber, and 1 sprig of mint on the noodles. Fold the bottom edge of the rice paper over to cover the ingredients, then roll up tightly one complete turn. Fold in the left and right edges to enclose the filling. Across the top length of the roll, place 1 sprig of cilantro and 2 pieces of shrimp, end to end and cut side down. Finish rolling up the rice paper to contain the shrimp and form a taut spring roll. Set it seam side down on a baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel. Make the remaining rolls in the same way. The rolls may be made several hours in advance; cover with a damp towel and plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Divide the sauce among individual dipping saucers and then divide the peanuts evenly among the saucers. Serve the rolls with the sauce.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
141 calories; 3g total fat; 33mg cholesterol; 653mg sodium; 18g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 11g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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