One thing I hate during summer is to have oily spicy food. Being a south Indian, can’t avoid the oil and spice totally but I try to have a lot of light and refreshing food, whenever I can. The Vietnamese spring roll is one such dish, absolutely refreshing. The rolls are crunchy and crisp with the fresh vegetables and the dipping sauce, though spicy gives it the zing. The original version of the dipping sauce has fish sauce, but since I am allergic to sea-food had to make mine with light soy.
Ingredients for the Dipping sauce:
Garlic flakes – 2 nos
Small red chilli
(de-seed if u don’t want it spicy) – 2 nos
Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 tbsp
Sugar (brown) – 1 tsp
Light soya sauce – 2 tbsps
Lime juice – 1 no
In a mortar and pestle, crush all the ingredients together or blitz everything together in a blender. Not very smooth but just pulse, till everything is combined and pour into a serving dish. Taste and season accordingly. No need for salt as the soya sauce substitutes the salt. Make sure to make the dipping sauce before the rolls as it gives enough time for the garlic and chillies to flavour the soy.
Ingredients for the Spring Roll:
Rice paper sheets – 1 for each roll
Rice vermicelli – 100 gms
Carrots (Julienne) – 1 no
Cucumber (Julienne) – 1-2 nos
Cilantro leaves/ chives/bean sprouts – 50 gms
Mint leaves – a handful
Iceberg lettuce or Romain lettuce – 2-3 lettuce leaves
Any cooked non-vegetarian, should be dry and sliced.
Prepare the vegetables by making juliennes out of the carrots and cucumber. Tear the lettuce into small pieces. Soak the rice vermicelli in hot water and keep ready.
When everything is ready, soak the rice paper in warm water for 5 mins. The whole sheet has to be submerged in the water. Be careful while handling the sheet, as they tear easily.
Remove from the water and place the sheet on a clean tea towel. Now place the mint leaves near one end of the rice sheet(end closest to you, as it’s easy for rolling later). Arrange the lettuce on top of them followed by the non-vegetarian (if adding) and a few juliennes of carrots and cucumber. Make sure not to overload the roll, as it would be difficult to roll it. Finally add the cilantro, bean sprout and chives mixture. Now start closing the roll tightly, when your half way fold the open ends of the rice paper in and over the filling, so that its closed from all sides. Keep rolling tightly until the whole sheet is rolled.
To serve, cut the roll on a diagonal and serve with the dipping sauce.