Vietnamese rice paper rolls are packed with crisp and fresh flavors and served with an incredibly addicting Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce that takes a minute to prepare. Rolling is the only delicate step in this recipe, it is rare to get a great result the first time. Fortunately the taste is not affected! The quantities per roll are left to the appreciation of each one according to his tastes (you can also add carrot or cucumber sprigs for example) so that on arrival the diameter is comparable to the spring rolls served in restaurants.
Tips for making successful Vietnamese rice paper rolls :
- Wrap flying pieces in a piece of lettuce. I like to make them with bean sprouts and noodles (other garnish suggestions in the recipe notes). Until you have mastered your rolling technique, wrap it in lettuce before rolling it in the rice paper. This keeps the « stuff » together which makes it so much easier to roll the rice paper up and it will also keep things like bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber out etc. pierce the rice paper;
- Use two sheets of rice paper – again, this is a tip while you are a master of the burgeoning rice paper roll. It is much easier to handle when rolling. The downside is that the ends are a bit fluffy, as there are triple / quadruple layers. But it’s not hard to chew, not at all. It’s just soft compared to the softness and brittleness of a single layer of rice paper. It doesn’t deter me at all. My mom noticed it, but that didn’t stop her from hoeing 4 of them in a matter of minutes. I never fail to be surprised that a woman of a certain age can consume so much so quickly.PS The reason why the shrimp and lettuce packet are arranged in different positions on the rice paper is that there is only one layer of rice paper on the shrimp when rolled up – makes the shrimp more visible. Ie pretty rolls.
Peanut Sauce for Rice Paper Rolls :
This peanut sauce is everything !! This is a Vietnamese peanut sauce. The 2 key ingredients are the peanut butter and the hoisin sauce which is diluted with milk or water (I prefer milk for the color. With water the sauce is darker). More vinegar for a little heat (really needs it), garlic (it’s not Asian if there’s no garlic in it!) And a touch of chili if you want (this that I love).
Rice Paper Rolls
Ingredients for assembly
- 7 to 14 22 cm / 8.5 "round rice paper sheets (Note 1)
- 11 small cooked shrimp / shrimp (about 12 cm / 5 "in length, unpeeled including the head)
- 50g / 1.5oz dried vermicelli noodles
- 7 lettuce leaves - use lettuce with soft leaves, like oak or butter lettuce (Note 2)
- 14 mint leaves
- 1 cup of bean sprouts
VIETNAMESE PEANUT SOAKING SAUCE (NOTE 3) :
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, preferably smooth (the crunch is ok too)
- 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar (or lime juice)
- 1/3 cup milk (all% fat) (or water)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed chili, samba oelak or other chili paste, adjust to taste (optional)
- Peanut Sauce: Combine the ingredients for the peanut sauce. Mix briefly (it does not come together), then microwave for 30 seconds. Mix again until smooth. Let cool. Adjust the sour with vinegar, salt with salt and hot to taste. The thickness can be adjusted with milk or water after cooling.
- Place the vermicelli noodles in a bowl and cover with lukewarm water for 2 minutes, then drain (or follow package directions).
- Peel the shrimp, cut them in half lengthwise and devein them.then Remove the crunchy core from the lettuce leaves.
- Tip - LETTUCE PACKAGE (Note 4): Place vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts in a lettuce leaf, then roll it up, seam side down. Repeat.
- Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water. The bowl does not need to be large enough to hold the entire rice paper at one time.
- Place two sheets of rice together (if using 2). Note which side is the smooth side - this is supposed to be the outside of the spring roll. Immerse the rice leaves in water (both at the same time, together) for 2 seconds. If your bowl isn't big enough to hold the entire rice paper at one time that's fine, just rotate it and count 2 seconds for each section you dip in the water.
- Place the two sheets of rice (one on top of the other, they will stick together) on a board or counter with the smooth side down.THEN On the top of the rice paper, place 3 shrimp with a mint leaf in between, as in the photo below.
- Place the lettuce package, seam side down, in the middle of the rice paper, fold the left and right edges of the rice paper together, then starting at the bottom, roll up to cover the lettuce package. Then continue to roll firmly. The rice paper is sticky, it will seal.
- If you have placed the ingredients on the rice paper like in the photo below, your rice paper rolls should look pretty with the shrimp and mint leaves on the smooth side of the roll and the seam on the side or bottom. below the roll.
- Serve immediately with the peanut dip.
- to make your rice paper roll life easier: use 2 rice sheets per roll. Easier to handle and less likely to tear. The ends of the roll where there are four layers of rice paper will be a bit softer, but not super soft, they are still soft.
- Lettuce: I use butter or oak lettuce because they are softer and more pliable than the iceberg, which makes them perfect for rolling. Icebergs and other crunchy lettuces don't work as well as they break when crumpled and tend to tear the rice paper. If you can't find any soft lettuce, I suggest shredding the lettuce - this will make handling much easier!
- Sauce: Some Hoisin sauces differ in strength of flavor, so adjust the flavor to taste at the end by adding more peanut butter or vinegar, then milk or water to adjust the thickness. The milk doesn't add flavor to the sauce, it just makes it a lighter color, so you know it's a peanut sauce - the color you get in Vietnamese restaurants. So you can use water if you prefer, but the sauce will be a darker brown. Or even coconut milk!
- My advice for rolling them is to wrap the bean sprouts and vermicelli noodles in the lettuce, then roll them up and / or crumple them lightly to keep them together. Then roll it in the rice paper. Much easier to handle!
- STORAGE: Some recipes will tell you that you can make rice paper rolls the night before and you can keep them moist with a damp paper towel. Firstly, I found the rice paper rolls to smell like paper towel and secondly, they didn't hold so well anyway. My rule of thumb is 6 hours (max 8) - you can make them up to 6 hours ahead, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap as soon as you make them, and refrigerate them. Don't just put them on a plate and put plastic wrap on the plate, you should wrap each one in plastic wrap (you should be able to put 2 per piece of plastic wrap - wrap one first, then place another next to it. and roll up with the rest of the plastic wrap).
- DIY OPTION: A popular menu item at Vietnamese restaurants here in Sydney are DIY rice paper rolls. So arrange all the ingredients for this recipe on a table with a large bowl of water and let everyone make their own!
- ORIGINAL PEANUT DIP SAUCE: Reader's request! The one provided in the recipe is more authentic and looks like what you get at Vietnamese restaurants here in Sydney. But here's the original, for the record:
½ cup of smooth peanut butter 1 tablespoon of sugar 4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis, it's thick like syrup) 2 small cloves of garlic (or 1 large), minced 1 bird's eye chili, finely chopped 1 tablespoon sesame oil 2 tablespoons lime juice Water Combine ingredients, using water to dilute until a hardenable consistency is achieved.
- Nutrition by rice paper roll, without sauce.