Prep 30 mins Cook 5 mins Eat 30 mins
The Vietnamese Spring Rolls were very popular at our Asian Cooking Class and very easy to make too. I think this may be my new “go to appetizer” for a dinner party. You can put virtually anything into the spring roll wrappers and make up a wonderful quick and healthy bite as a passed appetizer.
What works well are shredded vegetables like carrots, zucchini, cucumber, cabbage, red or green pepper. We used the Pampered Chef julienne peeler to get our perfect julienned veggies. I loved the avocado in them. The cellophane noodles (or bean threads) made them taste very authentic. I could also see adding in fried wontons or crisp chow mein type noodles to add some crunch like we tasted at the Brodard Chateau restaurant.
The orange-chili sauce couldn’t be easier to make and it is so good you could use it for dipping a lot of asian appetizers like pot stickers or egg rolls.
This recipe is adapted from Roy’s Feasts from Hawaii by Roy Yamaguchi. I’ve long been a fan of this Chef from the early days when he first appeared on the scene in 1984 with his L.A. restaurant called 385 North named after it’s address on La Cienega Blvd. He opened Roy’s Restaurant in Hawaii, where I found him again on the island of Maui and he quickly became known as a pioneer of Hawaiian fusion cuisine.
VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS
- 1 cup sake
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 cups sweet chile sauce
- 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup water 2 tsp minced shallots
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger root
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 pound cooked shrimp, small size
- 6 ounces cellophane noodles
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 16 slices
- 1 large julienned carrot
- 1 cucumber, peeled, slice into long slivers
- 4 ounces bean sprouts
- 20 mint leaves, fresh
- 8 Chinese chives
- 8 sheets round rice paper wrappers
1. In a saucepan, bring the sake and orange zest to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half. Lower the heat to medium, stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to reduce until sauce reaches a syrupy consistency and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain and use as a dipping sauce. Makes about 2/3 cup.
2. Place the cellophane noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand until softened about 10 minutes. Then drain. Have all other ingredients prepped and in bowls before beginning the next step.
3. Place 1 cup of warm water in shallow dish and have a work surface ready lined with a clean kitchen towel. Dip a rice paper wrapper in the warm water until soft – about 15 seconds. Then place on the towel. About an inch up from the bottom of the wrapper, place a band of avocado, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, mint leaves and a chinese chive across the wrapper.(Allow the chive to protrude above the wrapper’s edge. Add a layer of noodles and a few shrimp. Then roll the wrapper up from the bottom, tucking in the sides like a burrito into a cylinder.
4. Set Spring roll aside and cover with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
5. Cut spring rolls in half at an angle if desired and serve with the Orange-Chile dipping sauce.
6. Spring rolls can be made ahead and refrigerated until serving. Bring out 20-30 minutes before serving to take the chill off.