Spring rolls come in many variations and are very common throughout Asia. They are the perfect starter or appetizer and so easy to prepare. The fresh spring rolls (nem sod) which are also known as summer rolls (or rice paper rolls) throughout Vietnam are our favorite. Fresh herbs and a good dip are crucial for this dish, but beside that you can use any meat, tofu, fruit or vegetable combo that you prefer. We received the below recipe in Luang Prabang, Laos and want to share it with you. It also includes a delicious peanut dipping sauce.
Recipe for 4 Portions
Spring roll’s peanut sauce:
In case you are hungry for some more Asian food after this starter, make sure to also try “Keng Phet Kai” from Laos.
Chop the ONION, SHALLOT and GARLIC in small pieces. Cut the WOODEAR mushroom in thin slices. In case you bought a dried one, soak it in water first until it becomes soft. If you cannot find woodear at all, you can also use a different kind of mushroom instead. Just take the kind you prefer.
Fry the chopped ONION, SHALLOT and GARLIC in some sunflower oil until golden brown. Add the MINCED PORK and fry until well done. Add some SALT and PEPPER as well as the OYSTER SAUCE, SOY SAUCE and 1 tsp of SUGAR. Afterwards you can add WOODEAR and BEAN SPROUTS. Cook everything until well done. Then leave to cool.
Blanch the RICE VERMICELLI for 1 to 2 minutes until soft. Then rinse them with cold water and drain them.
Prepare a plate with some CORIANDER, MINT and LETTUCE. Cut the CUCUMBER and TOMATO in thin long pieces. Also cut the LONG BEANS and SPRING ONIONS in approx. 5 cm long pieces. Add everything to the plate. You can also place the drained rice vermicelli onto the plate.
Prepare the peanut dipping sauce: Dissolve SUGAR and HONEY in a pot with half a liter of boiled WATER. Leave to cool. In the meantime chop the CHILI and GARLIC and crush them in a pestle mortar. Add to the pot. Also add FISH SAUCE, VINEGAR, LIME JUICE and 1 tsp SALT. Finely chop the CARROT and add 1 tbsp of it as well. Mix everything. The sauce is served best in small bowls (one for every person). Before serving add about 1 tbsp of crushed roasted PEANUTS and some CORIANDER leaves to each bowl.
Get ready to roll! You can do this either on your own and treat your guests to some already prepared fresh spring rolls, but it is much more fun to do this together and make it part of the meal. Dip a piece of dried RICE PAPER in a bowl of warm water. A few seconds will do. Do not worry if it still feels a little dry/hard, it will become softer. Put the wet rice paper on your plate, add some LETTUCE, HERBS, VEGETABLES and other FILLING to the bottom of your rice paper. In general you can add whatever you like. There is no wrong or right and it is a lot of fun to experiment with different variations and flavors. Once you added everything you like, gently start rolling up the bottom end of the rice paper. When you reach the middle, make sure to fold in the edges and keep rolling. Make sure the roll is not too big and rolled quite firm. Dip into the sauce and enjoy!
In case you prefer to watch a video to see how the rolls are made, we prepared one for you. See below!