Many of you may not know that living in Italy is bittersweet as far as food is concerned. Great Italian! Not great choices for other types of food! So I am always on the lookout for great recipes to bring that diversity to my life. This week’s recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Hoisin Peanut Sauce comes to us from Giao Trac (pronounced like “Ciao!”) from KissMySpatula.com. It’s easy easy easy to make and personalize! You’re already craving Vietnamese food today aren’t you? –Kristina
About Giao: Though Giao began her career as a management consultant for Fortune 500 clients, she’s always had a deep love for good design, and for good food. After pouring blood, sweat and tears into a two year design and remodel, Giao stepped foot into her new kitchen and never left. She began recreating her own version of restaurant favorites and whipping up homemade supermarket staples from scratch. Why go out to buy soy milk, goat cheese, baguettes, hummus, mustard or ketchup when you can make them in the comforts of home? Her food is simple, seasonal, local and organic whenever possible. She’s transferred her passion of interior design into web design and photography –with an etsy store and web design shop in the works, so stay tuned. Until then, she chronicles her homemade culinary adventures at Kiss My Spatula.
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Hoisin Peanut Sauce
For the vegetarians/vegans out there, feel free to substitute the shrimp with grilled tofu. And for all you carnivores, simply add grilled pork, beef or chicken. In addition, mix and match any of your favorite vegetables.
For the rolls:
** 1 lb. fresh shrimp
** 1 cucumber, cut into thin, long strips
** 1 red pepper, cut into thin long strips
** 1 head of green lettuce, any kind
** 1 bunch cilantro
** 1 bunch mint
** Rice paper
** Rice vermicelli noodles
For the dipping sauce:
** 1 large clove garlic, minced
** 1 tsp olive oil
** 1/4 cup organic peanut butter
** 2 tsp. hoison sauce
** 1/4 cup water (more if needed)
** Sriracha chili sauce (optional)
Bring a saucepan to a boil on medium heat. Add shrimp and poach for 3-4 minutes until bright pink. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove skins, devein and slice in half crosswise. Set aside. Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Once a rapid boil is reached, add rice vermicelli noodles, cover and immediately remove from heat. Set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Allow to dry at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, begin to prepare the dipping sauce. Heat a small small saucepan with olive oil on medium-low heat. Add garlic and saute quickly, about 20 seconds. Do not let garlic burn. Add peanut butter and hoisin sauce and continue to stir. When sauce begins to incorporate and thickens up, add water. Adjust to taste and continue to add water, 1 tbsp. at a time, if it becomes too thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble rolls, dip single sheets of rice paper into hot water. Allow excess water to drain and quickly place on a plate. Once rice paper becomes pliable and soft, add shrimp, softened noodles, cucumbers, red peppers, cilantro and mint. Carefully roll closed and slice in half. Serve with hoisin peanut dipping sauce.
Why Giao Picked This Recipe:
Close to my heart, this is a dish from my motherland of Vietnam. It reminds me of family, community and love. It’s also one of the most versatile dishes I know. Eaten in any season. Filled with any ingredient. Served for any course. I’ve even held an entire dinner party where all guests got involved, learned how to make their own rolls and ate to their hearts content. Vietnamese spring rolls are healthy, ridiculously easy, and super fun to prepare and eat.