I bought this pack of Vietnamese rice paper a while ago and decided to make a surprise supper for my other half last night. I had about 1 ½ hours before she came back and I wanted to try hand rolling these things coz I’ve never done it before. I have eaten a lot of Vietnamese cuisine (even had dog meat in Hanoi) but never actually wrapped even a single spring roll myself.
I was quite surprised to find out that the Vietnamese rice paper are hard, flat circles like a tortilla wrap. You actually have to dip it into warm water to soften it up. My better half later told me that she’s seen a documentary to that effect – the rice paper are mass produced as flat, solid circles.
I first defrosted the fresh Chorizo sausage (had one left over) and took out a Chinese sausage (lap cheong). I could insert a joke on the relative sizes here but I can’t think of a tasteful one. Haha! Geddit?
Anyway, I fried up the Chinese sausage and Chorizo sausage (found out later that it’s better to first fry them both whole before cutting) and also a bit of shrimp. No seasoning! I reckon the two flavored sausages would do well.
I also made a pile of carrot shavings and slices and used a couple of winged beans for the vegetable bit. Winged beans are called kacang botol here and people usually eat it as ulam (traditional Malay raw vegetable side). I had wanted it to stick out like the picture but that was harder than I thought. Haha!
My first two attempts to make one failed – the Vietnamese rice paper are really gooey and sticky after the warm water treatment and it’s not very conducive to wrapping. You cannot mess it up! *One* mistake and the entire wrap is ruined!
I put one sliced sausage of each type, a couple of shrimp, then some carrots before sticking in a winged bean and wrapping the works up.
It took my third try for a slightly acceptable wrap and some came out looking like phalluses which is completely unintended, I assure you.
I chucked it into the fridge to chill and it was really tasty! I made five and my dear ate 3 of them when she came back and left 2 for me but I wasn’t hungry so I only ate it later on in the night as a midnight snack (to the background noise of my neighbor arguing with his girlfriend and telling her not to come over any more and some scuffling and punches – there goes the neighborhood).
The crunchy and crispy texture of the winged bean (kacang botol) with the two sausages made for a really good cold spring roll! It certainly wouldn’t have tasted as good in a tortilla wrap, it needs something more refined, less pushy, and the translucent Vietnamese rice paper fits the bill perfectly! I’ll make this again! :)
My better half came back with cupcakes, which is perfect coz I had a 4 pints of two different ice cream in the freezer. Heh.