Turn the famous Vietnamese appetizer into a whole ‘make-your-own’ spring roll dinner event! Add shrimp, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, mint, mango and rice vermicelli to the table and let your guests roll their spring rolls.
Are you one of those people who can never get enough of those spring rolls at the restaurant? Well, I am! And since I never want it to end, I make a fun ‘do-it-yourself’ Spring Rolls Dinner with them. You must prepare all the ingredients, add a bowl of water to the table and voilà!
A Full Meal
Called summer rolls in Vietnam… well, spring or summer, it’s all good to me. We were on a “Junk” boat in Halong bay when they taught us how to roll them. It’s straightforward; the only problem with those rolls is the preparation… cutting everything into thin little sticks takes some time. Although once done, it’s so rewarding to prepare and roll your spring roll with the flavours you like and dip you prefer. This way, you can eat as many as you want; it’s not just an appetizer but a convivial meal. Plus, ultra healthy!
How to Eat the Spring Rolls
In Vietnam, they told us never to dip our rolls in the sauces; we should always use a spoon to keep the spices clean. However, I love to go right in with my whole spring roll! It depends on whether you are with guests and how close you are to them. If you receive many guests, you better give them each a tiny spoon. Or, if you prefer, make more sauce and provide a small bowl for everyone.
Two Dip Choice
The first dip is the traditional fish sauce dip in any Vietnamese restaurant. I highly recommend using a fish sauce made in Vietnam; they make it with dried fish only, which tastes different from the Thai one. The Thai version is different… they use squid… strangely, which results in a whole other flavour.
The second dip is a yummy Hoisin-peanut sauce, famous in the Western world. Also, very easy to make.
If you intend to make a dinner out of these Spring Rolls, you’ll need a water pot like the one in the photo above to put on the table. The water can be lukewarm, and roll, whether a round or square-shaped rice paper, in it for 5 seconds. Make it all wet. Then lay it flat on your plate and start filling it with whatever you want from the table (don’t overfill). To finish the roll, fold the sides over the ingredients, then close it up by rolling it up tightly but gently.
This meal is fantastic! You could add a zillion of things to the table, like chicken, lobster, eggs, etc. Whatever leftovers are welcome here.
Other Vietnamese Dishes
Spring Rolls Dinner
- rice paper
- 150 g rice vermicelli
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 carrots (julienne)
- 1 cucumber (julienne)
- 200 g shrimps
- 1 mango (julienne)
- 100 g bean sprouts
- mint leaves
- cilantro leaves
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
The Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
- 50 g Hoisin Sauce
- 30 g crushed peanuts (or 1 tbsp of peanut butter)
- 1 tbsp rice vinager
- 1 tbsp water
The Fish Sauce Dip
- 20 g white sugar
- 25 ml rice vinegar
- 15 ml fish sauce
- 1/3 tsp chilli in oil (optional)
- Defrost the shrimp by running cold water on them.
- When ready, add 1 tbsp of fish sauce to the shrimp, and drain again.
- In a small pan, sauté at high heat the shrimps for 2 minutes.
- Cook the rice vermicelli in hot water following the pack's instructions.
- Drain and rinse them in cold water.
- Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil and mix them up.
- Cut the vegetables, make the dips, and add everything to the table.