One of the things I miss most about university are the people I got to experience those years with. We all moved to different parts of Europe or even the world now, and I don’t hear much of them, let alone see them anymore. Back in university, we had this tradition where we would meet on Sunday at one of my friend’s place and have wine – or Gin Tonic with cucumber, depending on the type of week we had. Now this friend has Vietnamese parents, and her Mom is an incredible cook. So whenever she went back home for the weekend, she brought along the most amazing food ever. One of these dishes were summer rolls. I seriously loved those, because we had loads of different foods to put into them, and you can basically mix and match however you feel like. One evening I tried to recreate them now, and they turned out pretty delicious, so I wanted to share the recipe with you. They are however not 100 % authentic I’m afraid, but nonetheless, incredibly yummy.
These ingredients – apart from the rice paper – are a suggestion, you can pretty much put anything you feel like into your summer rolls – that’s also why I did not want to put amounts of something, just use as much as you feel like eating. Traditionally you also offer pork to put into your summer rolls, but, to be honest, I have no idea how to make the traditional Vietnamese pork, so I decided to better leave that one out.
Preparing Summer Rolls is basically just a lot of chopping. You want to chop your vegetables into rather thin, five to ten centimetre long stripes. Then you cut your mango into rather small pieces and try to not make as much mess as a did – hence no picture of that. It turned more into a mush than into chunks – tasted good nonetheless. In the meanwhile, you want to cook your rice noodles, and do not forget to rinse them with cold water afterwards, so they don’t become one big chunk of noodles. Then, you simply stir-fry your shrimps and put them to the rest of your food. Lastly, you take one piece of rice paper, put it into cold water, let it remain there for about one minute or until it is rather soft. However, don’t wait too long, or the rice paper gets rather hard to handle. You then put your preferred ingredients and some rice noodles in the middle of your rice paper, add a little bit of chilli sauce and form a nice little roll. And that’s all – it’s that easy.
What I really like about this dish is that it’s so versatile. My personal favourites are mango, shrimps and cashews, because to me, this combination tastes a little exotic and very summery. In my opinion, summer rolls also are the perfect thing to offer when having guests over, because it’s quick, interactive, and everyone can eat what he or she feels like, so even vegetarians, vegans or simply picky people will have no problem to enjoy the food. I just love them!
xx, K (: