Easy beef pho, or what we all named it, faux pho
Vietnamese spring rolls with chicken and shrimp; dipping sauce
Marinated pork chops, stir fried spicy broccolini (posts to follow soon)
My dad and sister ate a lot of spring rolls while in Vietnam. My sister told me that in some places, the rice paper wrappers were served hard, not soaked and softened like I read about online. I decided to go with softened wrappers.
I enjoyed spring rolls in a Vietnamese restaurant in Philadelphia last year, so I had an idea of what ingredients to use. I talked to my sister and we came up with this list:
- Chicken: thinly sliced, seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with olive oil, ginger, and cilantro and sauteed.
- Shrimp: tossed with ginger and cilantro, sauteed in olive oil.
- Napa cabbage
- Thinly sliced carrots (I used my julienne slicer)
- Thinly sliced cucumbers (also used my julienne slicer)
- Bean sprouts
Stacy put the sauce together from this recipe for a hoisin dipping sauce found on the Epicurious web site. Easy, fragrant, sweet, and spicy! It also worked well with the noodles as well as on the pork in our next course. Mix these ingredients together:
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
Putting together the rolls...
My sister, because she was good at rolling the rolls and she also had freshly manicured hands, did a step my step demonstration of making the perfect roll -
Before making the rolls, heat water in a large, flat pot/pan. Holding the paper at one side, dip it into the water until the entire thing is covered. Be careful to keep it from folding as it gets very sticky. Place softened paper flat on a plate.
Step 1 (top left): Place your ingredients near one end of the paper, and in a long, piled stack. She chose carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, mint, cilantro, and chicken. Don't put too many things in your pile - Jon made this mistake and ended up eating it like a salad!
Step 2 (top right): Fold the near end over the ingredients, covering totally.
Step 3 (bottom left): Fold both sides in to close up the ends of the roll
Step 4 (bottom right); push the ingredients into the roll as you start to roll it toward yourself. This keeps everything tight and in place.The finished roll - she's pretty good!
These little rolls are full of fresh and healthy ingredients, and I prefer them over the fried version. I have some leftover ingredients, so tonight I think I'm going to saute some tofu to use with the veggies in a few rolls.