The weather in Beijing has suddenly gotten nice and warm. The temperature rose from 10 degrees C to over 20 degrees over the past two weeks. Flowers have started to bloom and the grass is turning green. I can feel that spring is coming. The most exciting thing is that the sun is still in the sky when I step out of my office building! Like a bear coming out of hibernation, I feel more energetic during the day and my mood has gotten brighter.
To celebrate the coming spring, I cooked these Vietnamese spring rolls today. Different from a traditional spring roll, I made a fusion style roll by using avocado and shrimp for my filling. The spring rolls were light and refreshing, yet with the rich and creamy texture of avocado and egg. Although they would go well with a thick, sweet sauce, I decided to enjoy them like they’re sashimi, with a few drops of soy sauce. The soy sauce won’t overpower any of the nice character of the spring roll, yet still enhances its flavor and umami. If you “accidentally” take a bite with pine nuts in it, it’ll bring a pleasant surprise to your palate.
All the ingredients in this spring roll are fresh and healthy. Moreover, I lowered the calories in the dish by using soy sauce instead of a sweet chili-peanut sauce. If you don’t like the idea of using soy sauce for dipping, you could replace it any other type of sauce you like. For inspiration, check out this delicious spicy peanut sauce and this special miso sauce.
What’s your favorite way to make Vietnamese spring rolls, and which sauce do you like the most?
I also made a short video to walk you through the cooking process. If you like the video, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel! I have a collection of cooking videos that walk you through the delicious recipes at Omnivore’s Cookbook. It is one of the fastest ways for you to get used to the techniques that are used in Chinese cooking!
- 8 rice paper wrappers (22 centimeters / 8.5 inches in diameter)
- 12 boiled shrimp, 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 in half lengthwise
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons sushi soy sauce or your favorite sauce
- Prepare shrimp and all the vegetables, place them near the working surface so you can easily reach everything.
- Pour warm water into a large skillet and place a wooden cutting board nearby. Use a wet kitchen towel to wipe the cutting board to get it damp.
- Work on rice paper wrappers one at a time. Place rice paper in the skillet for 15 to 20 seconds, until the wrapper starts to soften, without turning too soft. Quickly transfer the wrapper to the cutting board and spread it. Place 2 to 3 shrimp, egg, tomato, and avocado in the middle of the wrapper in the shape of a rectangle. Leave about 5 centimeters (2 inches) space on both ends. Add a few pieces of cilantro, onion and a piece of green onion on top. Scatter a few pine nuts over the other ingredient. Do not add too much filling, otherwise it'll be difficult to fold the wrapper.
- Carefully fold the the rice paper into a spring roll - (1) fold one side to cover all ingredients; (2) fold both short ends to seal the ingredients inside; (3) flip all the ingredients onto the last side of rice paper, into a roll. (Watch the short video for the process)
- Set the folded spring roll aside to let it rest. Work on the rest of the rolls with the same method.
- Serve with soy sauce as an appetizer. You could use any other sauce you prefer, as well.
The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe.