I love Vietnamese food – spring rolls, imperial rolls, grilled meats and especially pho. Unfortunately, Vietnamese food isn’t the easiest to replicate, as there are so many different flavours and spices involved, except for the spring rolls. I know that spring rolls are super trendy nowadays, and you can basically put whatever you want in them*, but my favorite remains the traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, with the peanut butter and hoisin dipping sauce (okay, sometimes I like to add in sliced cucumber too).
Recipe for: 10 rolls
Prep time: 30-60 mins (depends how fast you work)
Cook time: about 10 mins
- Ingredients for the rolls:
- 20 large shrimp (preferably cooked, otherwise you can cook them in butter)
- 30 mint leaves
- thin vermicelli (rice) noodles, half a package
- 1 Romaine lettuce
- 1 package of bean sprouts
- 1 package of rice paper (round or square, doesn’t really matter)
- Ingredients for the dipping sauce:
- 1/4 cup of chicken broth (the less you put, the thicker the sauce will be, so if you prefer a thinner sauce, add more broth)
- 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- sesame seeds
Here’s how to make Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls:
1. Start by prepping the sauce, so it has time to cool down while you’re making the rolls (otherwise you can put it in the freezer for 15 minutes). Bring the chicken broth and minced garlic to a boil, then add the peanut butter and the hoisin sauce, while whisking. Let this simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool.
2. For the spring rolls, if your shrimps are already cooked, great, if not, cook on low-medium heat in butter for a few minutes on each side (until the shrimps are pink and fully cooked on the sides as well). Once these have cooled down a bit, slice them in half.
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the vermicelli (follow instructions on the pack). Drain while rinsing in cold water and set aside.
4. Prep the rest of your ingredients and you’re almost ready to start. Make sure you have a cutting board (I prefer a wooden board, as it will absorb excess water) to prepare the spring rolls on, as well as a large bowl of very hot water (to soften the rice paper).
5. To start, put one sheet of rice paper in the large bowl of hot water, until it is soft (about 30 seconds – more as the water gets cooler, in which case, you should change the water). Remove the rice paper and lay it flat on your cutting board. Start by placing three mint leaves about 1 inch from the bottom, then add on top: 4 slices of shrimp, vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts and a lettuce leaf.
6. To roll, start by folding in the two sides (left and right) towards the center, which will ensure that none of your ingredients fall out when you roll. Pick up the bottom part of the rice paper and start rolling towards the top, while making sure to tuck the bottom part tightly under your ingredients, as you roll. Et voilà! Repeat these steps another 9 times and you will have 10 beautiful Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls 🙂 Serve your rolls with the peanut butter dipping sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds and enjoy!
*I’ve made these spring rolls with grilled chicken and grilled pork as well, for something different. You can also add different herbs, like coriander and Thai basil.
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*All photos are mine