Vietnamese Spring Rolls

About This Recipe:

Vietnamese food is one of my winter/rainy day go-tos, and my favorite dishes are always chicken pho, grilled lemongrass pork chops, and these shrimp spring rolls. What I love about these spring rolls are that they are super light and healthy, fresh, and flavorful. They vary a bit from place to place, but my favorite Vietnamese spring rolls have boiled shrimp, pickled carrots, mint, and a chopped peanut abundant dipping sauce. Even though there is very little actual cooking to make these (boiling the shrimp, noodles, and pickling liquid,) there are quite a few different parts. However, all of the steps are super easy and quick, and I love being able to make these at home whenever.


Ingredients (8 spring rolls)

-3/4 lb jumbo shrimp (peeled & deveined)
-8 rice paper wrappers
-4 oz vermicelli rice noodles
-Lettuce (leaf lettuce, bib lettuce, or romaine)
-Mint leaves

Pickled Carrots
-8 oz (1/2 lb) shredded carrots
-3 tbls white sugar
-2 tbls white vinegar
-2 tbls rice wine vinegar

Peanut Sauce
-3 tbls hoisin sauce
-2 tbls water
-1 tbl peanut butter
-1 tsp chili paste
-2 tbls chopped peanuts

Instructions (30 minutes) 

1) Pickled Carrots: In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Then stir in the white sugar and vinegars until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour over the shredded carrots in a container. Cool and cover and place in the refrigerator (ideally for at least a few hours, but 10 minutes is better than nothing.) The pickled carrots should last about 3 weeks in the refrigerator. 

2) Shrimp: In a small pot, bring water to a boil and season with salt. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes until they are pink and fully cooked, then drain and rinse with cold water. Carefully slice each shrimp horizontally.

3) Noodles: In a pot, bring water to a boil and cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain, and rinse with cold water.

4) Peanut Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the hoisin, peanut butter, water, and chili paste. Top with the chopped peanuts.

5) Assemble: Take a rice wrapper and dip it into a large dish of warm water for 10 seconds. Then lay it on a flat surface and layer the ingredients in the center of the wrapper- first the lettuce, then the pickled carrots, vermicelli, and mint. Right above, place 3 shrimp (facing the same direction for aesthetic purposes.) Then tightly roll up the rice wrapper twice, fold in the sides like a burrito, and keep rolling up.

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