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If you are anything like me, you have a few problems being neat and tidy.  The Gentleman can attest to my haphazard way of functioning, and to the many bits of stuff that end up on any available surface including my clean and often brand new clothes.  I confess, I am an incredibly messy eater.  Not intentionally mind you, I try my very best to eat as neatly as possible, but somehow nearly every time, I get food on my shirt.  There are some meals that I eat while wearing an apron, I confess, but I think I finally figured out how to eat my salad neatly so I can at least practice good table manners.

Vietnamese salad rolls are my answer.  I was looking through our condiment/spice cabinet and I saw some hoisin sauce and craved salad rolls.  So after a trip down to Chinatown, I picked up a package of medium sized rice paper wraps and some veggies from the market.  I hurried home and whipped some up along with something far less spectacular.  I don’t even remember what it was, I was just so happy to have these salad rolls.

And the best part?  Once I figured out how tightly to wrap the rolls without breaking the paper all the veggies and the rice noodles I added stayed in!  And nothing dribbled!  The hoisin sauce stays on the rolls, I’m assuming because of the starch, and my shirt is condiment free.  Happy, happy day!

Recipe:

There wasn’t really a recipe that I followed to make these beyond the package directions for both the rice paper and the rice noodles.  Below I’ve listed some filling ideas for your own personalized rolls that you can fill to your tasting. This is an incredible side dish as it is customizable for any vegetarians/vegans/carnivores you may find intruding on your animal by-product/meat/vegetable free home.  Although I do hope you do not have a veggie free home.  I’m almost certain that’s a federal offence.

I’ve also included a diagram on how to wrap the rolls so that nothing comes out.  But be careful.  Even though the rice paper once soaked is very pliable and almost stretchy, it does break.  Especially if you have nails.

Another tip for your dipping sauce (which can be anything.  The Gent wants to experiment with ranch dressing) but I found the hoisin to not be salty enough in among all those layers of rice and veggies.  Mix 3 parts hoisin to 1 part oyster sauce or thereabouts and I got the best dipping sauce I could ask for.

Filling Ideas: Remember to julienne veggies and cut proteins for easy wrapping

Veggies and Carbohydrates

  • Peppers Red/Green
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Cucumber seeded
  • Cabbage
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Green Onions
  • Rice Vermicelli
  • Lettuce
Proteins

  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Shrimp/Prawns
  • Sliced Chicken
  • Sliced Pork
  • Sliced Beef
  • Tofu/Tempeh
Dipping Sauce Ideas (Mix and Match)

Folding the Rolls

Follow the package directions for both soaking the rice vermicelli and your rice paper wraps.  Or do what I did and soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water, remove and place into a bowl in preparation for filling an use the noodle soaking water to flash soak the rice paper.  But be careful!  Your water may still be hot, and it doesn’t take very long to get the rice paper pliable enough to wrap.  I just takes a couple of seconds.

What about you? What did you fill your salad rolls with and what did you dip them into?

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