Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Rice papers (clear spring roll wrappers)
Fresh mint leaves (optional: Coriander, Thai Basil leaver, shredded cucumbers, shredded carrots, pickles, pineapple, chicken, shrimp, tenderloin, etc. you name it!)
Fish sauce – nuoc cham
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (preferably from Phu Quoc)
2 garlic cloves
2 fresh Thai chiles (2 to 3 inches; preferably red; including seeds), thinly sliced crosswise
The dipping sauce: Stir together sugar, lemon juice and fish sauce until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and your are almost ready to serve. Cut all the vegetables and meat in thin slices to fit in the springrolls.
In the meanwhile fill a pot of boiling water, cook rice vermicelli noodles for 5 minutes, or until tender and cooked through. Drain noodles, rinsing with cold water to remove all starch from noodles.
Assemble the rolls one at a time: wet one rice paper wrapper thoroughly in hot water for a few seconds, shaking off any excess water. Lay the rice paper on a large plate, allowing the paper to sit for one minute to become pliable. Neatly lay down some noodles. On top of the noodles, add torn mint leaves or additional optional ingredients, making sure not to overstuff spring rolls. Fold the the rice paper and pull the edge of the wrapper inwards and continue rolling until you reach the end of the wrapper furthest from you. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Serve immediately or at room temperature with the dipping sauce.
Photographer: Sophia Lee
Editor: Irene van Guin