Weather in Beijing suddenly get nice and warm, temperature raised from 10 degrees C to higher than 20 degrees in 2 weeks. Flowers start to bloom and grass is turning green. I can feel the spring is coming! And most exciting thing is, the sun is still up in the sky when I step out of my office building. Like bear just waked from hibernation, I feel more energetic during the day and my mood gets brighter.
For celebrating the coming spring, I cooked those Vietnamese spring rolls today. Different from traditional spring roll, I made a fusion style by adding avocado and shrimps, and using Japanese sushi soy sauce for the dipping. Those spring rolls are light and refresh, yet with richness and creaminess of avocado and eggs, with a splash of kick from green onion. Although this one will go well with a thick and sweet sauce, I decided to enjoy it like sashimi, by adding several drop of soy sauce. The soy sauce won’t cover up any nice character of the spring roll, and at the same time enhance its flavor and umami. If you “accidentally” have a bite with pine nuts, it’ll be a pleasant surprise to your palate.
All the ingredients in this spring roll are fresh and healthy. Moreover, I lowered the calories of this dish by using soy sauce. If you don’t like the idea of using soy sauce for dipping, of course you could use the type you like. For inspiration, check out this delicious spicy peanut sauce, or this special miso sauce.
What’s your favorite way to make Vietnamese spring roll and which sauce do you like the most?
- 8 rice paper wrappers (22 centimeters / 8.5 inches)
- 12 boiled shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 4 boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 batch cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 small onion, sliced
- 1 batch green onion, cut green parts half length
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons sushi soy sauce or your favorite sauce
- Prepare shrimp and all the vegetables beforehand, place them nearby so can easily reach everything.
- Pour warm water into a large skillet and place near by a wooden cutting board. Use a wet kitchen towel to wipe the cutting board to get it damp.
- Work on rice paper wrappers 1 piece at a time. Place 1 piece of rice paper in the skillet for 15 to 20 seconds, until the wrapper started to soften, but not too soft. Quickly transfer wrapper on the cutting board and spread it. Place shrimps, eggs, tomato and avocado, 2 to 3 pieces for each of them, in the middle of the wrapper by a shape of rectangle. Leave around 5 centimeter (2 inches) on both ends. Add a few cilantro, onion and 1 piece of green onion on top. Scatter a few pine nuts. Do not add too much ingredients, otherwise it'll be difficult to fold the wrapper.
- Carefully fold the the rice paper into a spring roll by (1) fold one side to cover all ingredients; (2) fold both short ends to lock the ingredients inside; (3) flip all the ingredients onto the last side of rice paper, into a roll. (Watch video above for the process)
- Set the folded spring roll aside to let it rest. Work on the rest rolls by the same method.
- Serve the spring rolls with soy sauce dip, or other sauce you prefer.