1 carrot, peeled, finely julienned, and
tossed with 1 tsp sugar
1 cup (4 oz / 125g) finely julienned
jicama leaves from 1 small bunch fresh mint
12 fresh dill sprigs
12 fresh coriander (cilantro) sprigs
- To make
the dipping sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the
oil. When it is hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until
lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add the hoisin sauce, fish sauce,
sugar, and chile paste or hot bean paste, stir well and simmer for
15 seconds. Stir in the chicken stock; the mixture should have a
thick, creamy consistency. Add the peanuts and let cool. Divide
among small sauces.
- To make the
filling, bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil.
Drain the rice noodles and add to the boiling water. Boil until just
tender, about 2 minutes. Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse
thoroughly with cold water. Drain well and set aside. Toss the noodles
occasionally to keep them from sticking together.
- In a
saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add the fish
sauce, sugar, pepper and pork and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to
medium and boil gently until the pork is firm and no longer pink, about 20
minutes. Remove the pork from the stock and let cool. Cut into thin strips
3/4 inch (2 cm) wide by 2 inches (5 cm) long.
- Bring a
saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and boil
until they turn bright orange-pink, 1-2 minutes. Drain, let cool, then
peel, devein, and cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.
- To make the
spring rolls, lay 1 rice paper round on a flat surface. Lay another paper
next to but not touching it. If space permits, lay out as many as 4 papers
without touching. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the papers with
warm water and leave them for 30 seconds or longer until they are softened
and feel like wet tissue. While working on one, cover the others with a
damp kitchen towel. Arrange 1 lettuce leaf on the lower third of the
round. Put about 2 tbsp of the rice vermicelli, a few strips of pork,
carrot, jicama, a few mint leaves, and 1 dill sprig on the lettuce. Fold
the lower edge over the filling, half covering it and forming a log. Fold
in the sides to enclose the ends. Put 2 pieces of shrimp with 1 coriander
sprig across the log. Continue rolling the paper over the shrimp to seal
the roll. Moisten the ends with water to seal the seam. Set the roll on a
tray lined with plastic wrap. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Repeat
until all the rolls are done.
Arrange the rolls, whole or cut into rounds, on a serving tray. Distribute
the dipping sauces among the diners. To eat, dip the rolls into the sauce
and eat out of hand.
Serves 6; Makes 12 rolls
Note - When making these marvelous
spring rolls, don't skimp on the aromatic herbs. In Ho Chi Minh City, I
tasted rather plain spring rolls with very little meat, but the abundant
fresh herbs made up for the simplicity. The sauce, called nuoc leo,
uses hoisin sauce, a popular Chinese condiment.