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Friday, January 10, 2014

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Maybe it's due to the new year, but I have been cooking a majority of my meals. In fact, the meals that I have been packing for work have been (save one day) meat free. Kind of like a VB6, but not vegan since I still include dairy. Not that I was planning on it to be like this... it just happened.
Anyways, this whole week I've been mini celebrating my six year anniversay with M. While that is a long time (for me), it doesn't feel like it. I got it into my head at work yesterday that I would make him some summer rolls. We almost always order them when we go to Vietnamese restaurants, and I've had those wrappers in the pantry for who know how long. So I hit up the Asian market and Trader Joe's for my ingredients, and after watching a couple of episodes of Chuck, it was time to cook.
You can do a search for the correct way of making these, I loosely followed White on Rice and theKitchn - and when I say loosely, I mean I looked at the pictures. I bought the wrong noodles, but the thread noodles (made from arrowroot powder) still turned out okay. Better for jap chae or noodle soups. I completely forgot about shredding some carrot, but these were small wrappers and I had enough veggies already. I used my spring salad mix for the base layer, but I think next time I'll try shredded cabbage or baby romaine. Thinly sliced scallions, cucumber sticks, cilantro, mint, and Thai basil. For the protein, I pressed a block of tofu to get as much of the water out and pan fried them until it developed and light brown crunchy skin.
Wrapping these rolls were pretty painless. Similar to wrapping a burrito. The only issue was the wrapper. They are slightly brittle before you dunk it in the warm water, but even after soak, you have to be careful because if it starts to fold in on itself it can crack, as the wrapper up there did. And then there is the issue of the soak length. Probably about a minute or less, but you do need to keep an eye on it. Otherwise it gets too soft and have to scrap it altogheter. I did salvage one, but you get a lot of wrappers in a package, so tossing one isn't that big a deal.
I'll have to make these again and take more pictures.

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