In The Kitchen: Abigail Raines cooks up fresh Vietnamese spring rolls

In the Kitchen

If you can’t make a trip to Southeast Asia, we have some recipes you will be able to make at home.

Manila Spoon Blogger Abigail Raines with her cookbook, Rice. Noodles. Yum. Raines also has a food blog featuring tried-and-tested, family-favorite home-style dishes from the Philippines, Asia and around the globe.

Classic Vietnamese Spring Rolls Ingredients

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cooking oil of choice

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup (120 ml) hoisin sauce

1 cup (240 ml) water

½ cup and 2 tablespoon (112 g) peanut butter, plain or chunky

2 tablespoon (25 g) sugar

2 tablespoon (30 g) roasted peanuts, crushed

6 oz (170 g) dried rice vermicelli

1 small head green lettuce, chopped

1 lb (455 g) medium prawns or shrimps, cooked and peeled

1 oz (28 g) basil leaves

1 oz (28 g) cilantro leaves

1 oz (28 g) mint leaves

1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned

8 oz (225 g) pork belly or pork loin, boiled in salted water until cooked then thinly sliced

1 (8-inch [22-cm]) pack round rice paper sheets (banh trang), about 16 pieces

Classic Vietnamese Spring Rolls Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the Hoisin sauce, water, peanut butter and sugar. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 8 more minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Spoon the sauce into a bowl and garnish with the crushed peanuts.
  2. Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes or just until tender. Rinse under cold water then drain well.
  3. Place the rice noodles, lettuce, prawns, basil, cilantro, mint, carrot and pork on a platter or in small bowls at the table where you will assemble the spring rolls. Have a large wooden cutting board or big plate on hand for rolling. In a bowl or pan large enough to accommodate the rice paper, add room-temperature water.
  4. To assemble the rolls, dip one sheet of rice paper into the water, submerging the paper entirely. Remove the rice paper immediately, shake off any excess water and lay it flat on the cutting board or platter. Place some chopped lettuce on the bottom edge of the rice paper and three prawns side by side above the lettuce. Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) on either side. Place a couple of leaves from any or all of the herbs, a few carrot slices and a small portion of the rice noodles on top of the lettuce. Place a long thin slice of the pork on top of the prawns.
  5. Roll the bottom edge of the rice paper up over the fillings, then fold both sides into the middle. Roll again until you reach the top edge of the rice paper then place in a large platter, seam side down. Repeat until all the ingredients are all used up. Serve with the peanut sauce on the side.

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