Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

These delicious healthy fresh and crisp salad rolls top the list as one of my favourites!! And, similar to having tacos, they're fun for the family to have, because we can all sit down and pick our own ingredients and wrap them up ourselves.

You'll need a few ingredients from the Asian aisle of your grocery store. These are both common items that are sold in our regular stores, however, and do not require that you go in search of them in Chinatown or other Asian specialty markets.

Find some rice paper. It looks like this.

And some rice vermicelli noodles. They look like this.

You'll want to cook up a square or two of the rice noodles ahead of time to allow them the opportunity to cool down. These salad rolls are a cold dish; thereby explaining the "salad" term in the name.

And then chop up a bunch of ingredients. Traditionally, these rolls contain lots of yummy freshness, including cilantro (I friggin' LOVE cilantro. Almost as much as I LOVE basil, which is another popular ingredient for these wraps. I love them so much I would marry them and the three of us would live happily ever after!), basil, bean sprouts, green onion or chives, shredded cabbage and a bit of cooked cold vermicelli noodle. We also like to occasionally include shredded carrot, cucumber and avocado when we make ours.
We chose to use little shrimps last night, but you can add chicken or pork, or just keep them vegetarian if you prefer.

When you're ready to start rolling, you'll need a big flat bowl of hot water. Place one rice paper into the hot water and let it soften in there for a minute. Have a damp tea towel spread out ready on the table and place the soft (and kinda sticky) rice paper on the towel after pulling it out of the water. Once flattened, start to add a pinch of each of your desired ingredients along the length of the bottom third of your rice paper. Once the filling is in there, you might want to add a bit of sauce to it -  could be a spicy sriracha sauce, a sweet red chili sauce, a hoisin sauce or a spicy peanut sauce. All complement these wraps perfectly!  Then, start to roll up, fold the ends in, and keep them as tight as you can.  The rice paper is nice and sticky, so the roll-up procedure is pretty easy.

Last night, I made a homemade spicy peanut sauce to go with the salad rolls.
I crushed up two fresh cloves of garlic, added 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter and a 1/2 cup of hot water. I whisked this together until smooth, then added some chopped green onion (you could use garlic chives if you have them on hand),  a 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or cider vinegar,  2 tbsp of soy sauce and 2 tsp of cayenne pepper, and mixed it all together until nice and smooth.

This made an addicting, but fairly hot spicy peanut sauce. You can lessen the cayenne if you don't want it quite that spicy.
Add a bit of this sauce to the inside of the roll if you like, too. But it is also delicious to dip your salad roll into, so providing little dipping dishes would be ideal.

DELICIOUS and healthy and easy!! Try 'em!


Hiromi said...

YUM!!!! LOVE 'em!

Martha said...

I think we will have to try it out, thanks for the idea Jodi!

Mayan_Love_Goddess said...

Those are one of my faves too! Try them with Hoisin sauce mixed with crushed peanuts. Delish!! :)

Renee said...

These look so good!

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