Inspired by an item offered at Ben Thanh, a local Vietnamese restaurant , here is a recipe for summer rolls (nuong vi). These are great as meal starters or main course. They are best made with shrimp(tom), chicken(ga) or beef(bo).
Serving Size: 10 rolls
- Rice paper 22cm/8.5in (New Century)
- 1 carrot
- 1-2 cucumbers
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro (Compare Foods)
- 1 bunch leaf lettuce
- 5 oz bean thread (New Century)
- ½ lb bean sprouts
- 10-20 leaves fresh basil
- Tube lemongrass paste (Harris Teeter)
- Peanut oil
- 1 lb meat:
- Shrimp-xtra jumbo, deveined and tail removed
- Chicken or beef-strips 7-8in length, 2in width, 1in thick
- 10 wooden skewers
- Peanut sauce (Harris Teeter store brand peanut sauce is awesome)
1. *The meat is best if marinated overnight and then grilled. Mix together ¼ cup lemongrass paste and ½ cup peanut oil. Fully coat meat, cover and refrigerate.
2. Once the meat has marinated and you are ready to begin making the nuong vi, place the wooden skewers and bean thread in separate containers of lukewarm water to soak.
3. Peel carrot and cucumber(s). Shred ½ cup carrot. Slice about 1 cup cucumber(s) into thin sticks, 7inlong. Set aside.
4. Bean thread should be soft within 20 minutes. Drain and rinse w/cold water. Wrap in damp paper towel and set aside.
5. Make sure the skewers have soaked 30-45 minutes. Place meat on skewers. Shrimp should be 2-3 pieces per skewer, chicken or beef 1 slice lengthwise per skewer. Place on grill and cook until done. Baste with remaining marinade as you grill.
6. While the meat is cooking, rinse cilantro, mint, lettuce and basil. Remove stems from leaves. Set aside.
7. Rinse bean sprouts. Set aside.
8. **Now you are ready to assemble the rolls. Fill a shallow bowl-wide enough for the rice paper-with 2 or 3 inches of warm water.
9. Place I piece of rice paper in bowl for approximately 3 seconds. The paper should be pliable but not ‘soggy’. Lay on flat surface; you can lay it on wax paper if you would like.
10. Place meat from 1 skewer on middle of rice paper. Top with:
- 1-2 cucumber slices
- 1/10 of shredded carrot
- 1-2 pieces of lettuce
- Several cilantro leaves
- 2-3 leaves of mint and basil
- 1/10 of bean sprouts
- 1/10 of bean thread
11. **** Fold empty bottom half of rice paper up loosely against filling. Fold left side over and tighten around filling. Fold down top then roll length completely to the right.
12. Continue steps 8-10 until all rolls are complete.
13. Use peanut sauce as a dip. Serve and enjoy!
Notes: *Meat can also be cooked in a skillet (without skewers) or in the oven on a broiler pan.
**When entertaining guests, this also goes over well if you present meat, fillings and rice paper on separate platters along with a couple bowls of warm water. You guests may enjoy making their own nuong vi.
***Rice paper will probably take a few tries to perfect. Pointers-if you pull too tightly the paper will tear, if you fold too loosely, the summer rolls will fall apart.