Monday, May 18, 2009

Rap and Roll (Vietnamese Salad Rolls, that is)

I'll let you in on a little secret.

Although I profess to not like to cook much, it's really not so bad. (Just don't tell my husband I told you).

The thing I really enjoy is making appetizers. My problem is that when I find something that's a hit, I tend to stick to it as a standard. My strawberry and spinach salad and bean salad, for instance, have become regular potluck fare.

So for the Victoria Day weekend annual barbecue hosted by our friends around the corner, I thought I'd mix it up a little. My contribution was "Vietnamese Salad Rolls", a recipe I discovered at Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver over 10 years ago. Here's the recipe:

You'll need (for 8 rolls):

8 pcs rice paper
6-8 oz rice vermicelli
8 green onions trimmed
8-12 lettuce leaves
8 - 10 oz cooked shrimp, chicken or fish (I cook about 3 shrimps per roll)

1/2 C hoisin sauce
1/4 - 1/3 C satay sauce
Water to dilute dipping sauce
Chopped herbs for garnish (eg cilantro)

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off, add vermicelli noodles and let soak for 3 - 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain well.
Fill a large bowl with very warm water, immerse one sheet of rice paper in the water until it softens. (It helps to have a goofy assistant).

Lay it flat on a surface (I use a dishcloth so it doesn't stick) to add the filling.

Put a lettuce leaf on the rice paper, add about 1 oz (a few strands) of the rice noodle lengthwise on top of the lettuce. Leave about an inch on the bottom. Then add the desired amount of seafood or chicken and a green onion in front of the vermicelli so that the green part of the onion sticks out of the finished roll. Then fold the bottom part over the ingredients, and then roll lengthwise from one side to the other, wrapping tightly. Repeat for the remaining rolls.

Dipping sauce: Mix the hoisin with the satay, and dilute with water to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped coriander or Thai basil.

You can use whatever other ingredients you might like to include in the roll, I like the crunchiness of some very thin slices of cucumber or bean sprouts.


Make sure you visit my girlfriend Rachel's for more Mouthwatering Mondays.


On the subject of rap, for the longest, longest time I didn't like it. In fact, I would turn it if I heard it on the radio. I did enjoy the first hip hop song I was ever exposed to (yes, I am THAT old) but since then, not so much.

But lately? Call it middle-aged crazy, but I'm sure the library must think I have teens at home. This is what I've borrowed to enjoy...

1/ Karl Wolf: Bite the Bullet. Initially I thought, "what have they done with the Toto's Africa", but since the boy loves it, it's grown on me.
2/ Flo Ri Da: Roots.
3/ T.I.: Paper Trail

T.I. + J.T for ya...


Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy said...

I love to make appetizers. Any sort of dip is my favorite to make.

sandla said...

I also love to make appetizers with dipped in chocolate.

louann said...

Those rolls look yummy. I am a fan of rolls-- fresh or fried spring rolls.

Ed said...

You sold me on the rolls.

The rap---not so much.

Kim said...

YUM YUM to both the rolls and Justin.. :)

Life As I Know It said...

My favorite meals are ones that are just a whole lot of appetizers. Tapas = yum!

(I had strawberry spinach salad for dinner last night)

Cheryl said...

I am so trying that recipe, I love the rice wraps!! Thank you
PS: HUGE hip hop fan and rap too.....Jaimie Fox, TI, all on the Ipod for my workouts...maybe it's the cursing that gets me all pumped! I never curse!

Tara R. said...

My kids love these rolls, but I've never had a recipe before. This is great. I will be trying these soon.

Momisodes said...

Oh my. We LOVE those vietnamese rolls! In fact, we used to order those weekly when we lived in California. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

those look REALLY good

Yo Momma said...

I'm slobbering all over myself. I'm going to take this recipe ...and give it to my husband. He's the cook of the family. I'm the toast and ramen girl.

Asianmommy said...

Thanks for the recipe--it looks delicious!

Maureen said...

Ohhhh... that looks good.

And so does your remake! Love the new bloggy look!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh EEYUM! I've always wanted to make those and now I have a good reason. I wonder how hard it's going to be to find the ingredients...

LOVE the blog look.

Shawna said...

Love the music, and the salad rolls look delish!

Huckdoll said...

Tasty lookin'!

Hey, we were just at Granville Island on Sunday (our girls first time there, too)...I begged Col to move us back to Vancouver so we could do our weekend shopping there again. Fail.

Tooj said...

LOL I'm sure that people think I'm nuts too, riding around in my car listening to rap. There's just something about the beat, but I've been a fan since college....might have something to do with the fact that I was always out dancing to it for a straight two years. I don't know.

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