Select and Prepare Fillings:
Rice vermicelli, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let steep until tender, 2 – 5 minutes. Drain.
Green papaya, carrots, cucumber—cut into fine matchsticks
Mushroom strips—saute briefly
Mung bean sprouts
Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Mint
Grilled or poached shrimp, chicken, pork or beef, sliced bite-sized.
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
Mix: ~5 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam)
⅔ cup warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
3-4 tablespoons lime juice.
Optionally, add any or all:
1 sliced or minced garlic clove
sliced Thai or serrano chiles
1 tablespoon shredded carrot
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
Prepare the wrappers. Use a spray bottle to spritz water lightly onto both sides of one wrapper, or dip in a plate of water briefly. Lay the moistened wrapper on a clean surface for filling. The wrappers soften quickly and become delicate to handle, so soften them as you go, making one roll at a time. Or let each guest roll their own.
Assemble. Now the fun begins. Place your filling ingredients in a compact pile in the lower third of the rice wrapper and roll it up tightly away from you.
If desired, line up cooked shrimp or other protein tidbits in the final fold while rolling. It is not necessary to tuck in the ends, but extra points if you do. Halve crosswise to serve, if you like.
Eat. What a pleasure! Making fresh Vietnamese rolls is surprisingly easy and the result is fresh, healthy, and delicious.