Healthy Food – Vietnamese Salad Rolls

A friend prepared these delicious salad rolls shown in photo.  She did not have a specific recipe however I found one that you can follow and add chicken or prawns to if you like.  They’ve got the three essentials – that is they’re delicious, healthy and low fat.  What was really nice is how she served them with lettuce leaves lining the plate – presentation, presentation ladies and gents!

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

Don’t you hate it when you ask someone for a recipe and they say “I don’t have a recipe, just use whatever you have on hand – they’re so easy to make.”  Said friend made the best sukiyaki (again, no recipe and who makes sukiyaki anyway – you’re lucky to even find it on the menu at any Japanese restaurant) but believe me I took mental notes and I’m making it and will follow up for you on that dish at a little later date. When it starts to get a bit cooler out maybe even tomorrow. I need to buy another appliance before doing so.  For now make this & cut them up smaller for appetizers:

MAKES 4 ROLLS (regular size)

You can try different dipping sauces – why not have options? In photo the wraps are made with chicken and the dipping sauce is thai sweet chili which can be store bought if you don’t have the time to make it from scratch.

for the peanut sauce 

1 tablespoon soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

juice of 1 lime

1 shallot, roughly chopped (1/4 cup)

1 small garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

¼ cup sesame oil

2 teaspoons maple syrup

for the rolls:

8 rice paper spring roll wrappers

1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated and washed

12 fresh mint leaves

12 fresh basil leaves

8 sprigs fresh cilantro

½ English cucumber, cut into sticks

1 small avocado, thinly sliced

  • About 2 cups cooked rice vermicelli cooled down (optional)
  • fresh bean sprouts (optional)
  1. To make the peanut sauce, blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, cut or tear the hard rib from each butter lettuce leaf and prep all other filling ingredients.
  3. Fill a bowl large enough to hold the spring roll wrappers with warm water. Soak one wrapper for about 1 minute, or until just pliable, then lay flat on a cutting board. Layer in lettuce leaves, folding large ones in half, then fresh herbs, cucumber, and sliced avocado. Then rice vermicelli, meat (if using) and bean sprouts.
  4. Carefully roll up the wrapper, leaving both ends open. Soak another wrapper and wrap existing roll inside to secure ingredients.
  5. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling ingredient. Then, pack in an air-proof container, layering in a damp paper towel to keep the rice paper moist.
  6. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.

Originally featured in An End of Summer Picnic on goop

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal

Source for chili sauce: Food Network

I’ve made traditional Vietnamese salad rolls in the past using lettuce, rice vermicelli, prawns, green onion and bean sprouts with peanut dipping sauce.  They’re actually pretty easy to make.  At first you might break a few of the wraps because they’re so thin but when you get the hang of it they’re fun to make.  It just took my friend making these to remind me that they’re a BIG HIT at parties! Everyone loved them.  Everyone asked for the recipe.  You’re welcome!

Upcoming Vancouver Event:

Join me at one of my favourite Fall fundraisers –  the annual Arts Club event CHEF MEETS BC GRAPE featuring up to 90 BC wineries pouring over 350 award-winning wines, delectably paired with locally inspired dishes from top British Columbia restaurants.  See why BC food is designed for BC wine!

Signature Tasting
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Vancouver Convention Centre East
999 Canada Place, Ballrooms A, B and C
7–9:30 PM