The Writer’s Kitchenette Vietnamese Fusion Rice Wraps
BY PANCHAMEE HEWAVISSENTI
Vietnamese Rice Wraps are a popular dish found in restaurants across Vietnam. These translucent packets are delicious, light, healthy and colourful with an assortment of fresh flavours. The Rice Wraps are served with an extremely addictive Peanut Dipping Sauce. They are a wholesome dish for those who indulge in oily and fried food too much and would like to switch to a healthy eating style.
Also known as Spring Rolls, Rice Rolls, Rice Paper Rolls, Salad Rolls and in Vietnamese, 'Goi Cuon.'
Goi Cuon or Vietnamese Rice Wraps were listed among the world's top 50 delicious foods by CNN in 2011.
Apart from the ingredients that are mentioned below, you can include any herbs, meat or fish of your preference such as pork and prawns. Although they are made in different styles in restaurants in Vietnam as well as in other parts of the world with the addition of various meat, fish and herbs to enhance the flavour, the traditional Goi Cuon is made of pork, shrimp and several herbs with rice vermicelli.
Generally, rice vermicelli which is known as Bún is used in place of rice when making Rice Wraps. Rice vermicelli is a type of rice noodles which is very thin in form and is made of rice grains itself and is healthier too.
The Rice Paper that enfolds the ingredients inside is known in Vietnamese as Báhn Tráng and are made of sun dried steamed rice batter. It is sometimes made by adding various plant substances such as tapioca starch.
This recipe was shared by one of my friends who made an effort to learning Vietnamese dishes when on a tour to the country. Vietnamese are adept at making this dish and we too can try making it as the recipe is easy to follow. This Fusion Rice Wraps recipe that I share with you today is a slight deviation from the authentic rice wraps but it has not compromised the essence of Vietnamese Rice Wraps.
lCooked Thai Jasmine rice- 3 cups
lButter - 100g
lSpring onions-chopped lengthwise
lCelery - 2 stalks
lGarlic - 5 cloves
lCarrots - 2-diced
lFresh Thai Basil
lCilantro - chopped
lGinger - a small piece
lGreen chilli- thinly sliced
lRipened (red) green chilli - thinly sliced
lWhite and black pepper
lHalf a Cucumber – cut into thin long slices
lCheese slices (optional)
lFinely Sliced Sausages (optional)
lSoy sauce - 50ml
lMint sauce - 50ml
lWhite vinegar - 10ml
lFish sauce - 50ml
lFresh lime juice- half a lime
lPeanuts- finely chopped
lGranulated brown sugar-30g
lGreen chilli- paste- 1/2tblsp
lGinger-garlic paste-1/2 tblsp
PREPARATION OF RICE MIX
Place a non-stick frying pan on medium high heat. Add butter and let it melt. When the butter is melted, add garlic and ginger and fry for about a minute. Add onion, celery and carrots. Sauté the mix until the onions become translucent. When frying these vegetables in butter, be mindful not to allow the butter burn. To avoid over heating or burning the butter, you can start adding ingredients that you intend to fry, as soon as the solid form of the butter disappears.
Fry the vegetables for three minutes and add peas. Cook the peas for about a minute until the peas are thawed. Now, push the tempered vegetables to a side of the pan and let the oil flow towards the middle of the pan. Break the eggs and add to the pan and stir constantly until they are well scrambled. Mix the scrambled eggs with vegetables well and add salt and white pepper.
Add cooked Thai Jasmine rice, a little at a time and stir well so that all the ingredients are well combined. Add salt if required.
Take the pan off the cooker and let the heat of the rice mix gets reduced. Take a rice paper and dip it in lukewarm water for about a minute and lay it on a platter. Make sure to leave one side of the edge of the round shaped rice wrappers out of the platter so that it is easier to get hold of it when you need to fold.
Add a table spoonful of tempered rice on the rice paper and fried sausages if you would like. You may add shrimp or chicken too. If you are a cheese lover, you can also place a small slice of cheese in it.
Top it with sliced spring onions, green and red chilli slices, cilantro and fresh Thai Basil leaves. Sprinkle white pepper on top and fold the rice paper. Finally sprinkle a bit of black pepper on the folded rice wraps if you desire.
Folding of rice papers should be done carefully as the rice paper may get torn if roughly handled. Until you master the art of rolling and folding rice papers, you can use two rice papers instead of one. But, the use of one rice paper is always recommended to retain the taste.
PREPARATION OF SAUCE
Place a pan on low heat. Add a little butter and let it melt. When the butter is melted, add ginger- garlic paste. Fry the paste for half a minute and add green chilli paste. Then add soy sauce, fish sauce and stir well. Add granulated brown sugar and stir the ingredients well until the sugar granules are dissolved fully.
Add black pepper and white vinegar. Add chopped peanuts and stir well until the ingredients are well combined. Cook sauce for about three to five minutes.
After taking the pan off the heat, squeeze half a lime into the sauce and finally add mint sauce and lightly stir.
Dip the Rice Wraps in the delectable sauce and taste! Enjoy delicious and super healthy Vietnamese Rice Wraps at home without going to Vietnam!
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