Vietnamese Spring Rolls
I love spring rolls. Crispy on the outside, tasty and soft on the inside, a quick and satisfying snack for almost every occasion. The only problem is the closest place where they make a good spring roll here in Budapest is relatively far from my place (meaning, when you immediately feel the craving to devour one or two – it is far). Thus, when we stumbled upon a really cool Asian store the other day, the idea was born to make them at home – yes, I knew it wouldn’t be even half as easy as gathering yourself and going to that actually not so far Asian restaurant to pick up a few spring rolls, but I was certain that we will like them more as we know what is inside (I’m not at all criticising our favorite Asian restaurant, but you never know:)) and I was always interested to try them baked instead of fried. Now we only needed a recipe, picked up the missing ingredients from the Asian store and the fun began 😀 Because it was actually fun, rolling the cute spring rolls up in that delicate rice paper – that I thought will break immediately (somehow it is way more resistant than it seems), and even if it looks like a lot of fuss for those couple of spring rolls, I assure you, it is totally worth that little extra effort, and I have to say when I made them the second time I already considered myself a pro. I made them first fried and the second batch in the oven – they were both equally delicious 🙂 Feel free to experiment with the fillings, the first time I followed the recipe that I found, the second time I added sausages and peas as well, yum!
Vietnamese spring rolls
Ingredients (for 10 rolls):
10 pieces of rice paper (I used square but any shape works I guess)
Vegetable oil for frying
For the filling:
1 small carrot, cut into thin slices
0.5 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
1 small white radish, also cut into thin slices
1 tbsp dried wakame seaweed, soaked in warm water and squeezed
50 g rice noodles, soaked for about 3-5 minutes in boiling hot water
For the filling, mix all the ingredients. To fill the rice paper: place the rice paper (one by one) in hot water for a couple of seconds. Lift it out and place on a cloth. Place a big tablespoon of filling on the rice paper and check out the photos for the folding technique 🙂 Fry the rolls in vegetable oil or bake in the oven until golden brown. Enjoy with sweet chile sauce! My boyfriend liked the leftovers even more the next day.
Notes: This filling has a very smooth taste. Add some salt, pepper, chili for a boost 🙂 As for the wakame seaweed – to my (European) nose, it had a very strange odour but it added a nice pop to the filling (both in color and taste). Feel free to experiment with different types of fillings. The variations are endless!