Thursday, 29 May 2014

Wrapped-Up for Springtime!

Involtini Primavera Vietnamese con Gamberetti
Vietnamese-Styled Spring Rolls with Shrimp


Oh, they are not as good as the real thing, I know- and I do need to practice wrapping these little parcels of tastiness a little more... but it was such fun trying to make these Vietnamese-styled spring rolls this evening!

And they were so yummy to eat!


Although they were not wrapped so tightly, and I didn't have any pork belly to add, as would normally be the case, there was plenty of goodness inside and with some yummy Hoisin and sweet Thai chili sauce, they were not too bad for a first attempt!

Read on to find out how this Sicilian guy improvised his Vietnamese dish!


The ingredients I used were, of course the rice-paper wrappers and glass vermicelli, some cucumber, carrot, sugarsnap peas Spring onion and lettuce, as well as coriander and mint to add that freshness that really makes these taste of Spring in the first place.


With just these few simple ingredients and a couple of dipping sauces, you can make a totally healthy and delicious meal that is a lot of fun too... I prefer these to those deep-fried Spring rolls any day!


Prep-work for this is minimal- the vegetables simply need to be cut into strips- as chunky or thin as you prefer- it's all good!


You can keep this dish totally healthy by boiling the shrimp as I did, keeping the whole thing fat-free. I simply halved and cleaned them, then boiled them for just 1-2 minutes until they became nice and pink.

As for the vermicelli for the filling, they also needed to boil for 1-2 minutes at the very most, then to be drained and rinsed with cold water to prevent them from cooking further.

And having done that- I was almost ready to get wrapping!


What makes these such a wonderful thing to eat is how light they are- with mild lettuce and fresh herbs, you have a lot in each roll- but it is all good and healthy stuff! I plucked the mint leaves off the stems and left them whole, but cut the coriander in half as I wanted to have those stems in the rolls, but they would be too long otherwise and could end up poking out of the wrappers.


To assemble the rolls, first dip the rice-paper circles into warm water until they soften and then lay them out on a flat surface. Lay the lettuce out first at one end of the circle and then lay a little of the vermicelli and assorted vegetables and herbs on top.

Set the shrimp out a little further in... then take a deep breath and get ready to try rolling these little babies up!


Bunch up the lettuce leaves, vermicelli and herbs as tightly as you can and roll over the wrapper until the rice paper overlaps and sticks together- then fold over each end to make sure the filling stays inside.


Next, continue rolling so that you enclose the shrimp and keep going until the rice paper sticks everything nicely together... it is pretty sticky stuff and it is a little tricky to do... but it is fun and it is worth it!

If things go wrong- and they did for me too- then pluck the roll apart, set your filling to one side and then try with another one- it's not the end of the world! It's also not the end of the world if they don't look as good as the ones you are used to eating at that restaurant... mine obviously didn't either- but they still tasted great and I had made them myself- and that is the main thing!


Dipped in a little each of those 2 yummy sauces- Hoisin and sweet chili... well, I was just as happy as can be! I am guessing you will be too! Go ahead and give them a try and enjoy!

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