Low Calorie Yet Oh So Yummy!
I spent many years in Providence, RI and regularly visited a local, authentic Vietnamese restaurant where I always ordered Nime Chow — Fresh Spring rolls, or Summer Rolls (among other things). Not the fried ones but the light, delicate ones that are filled with fresh shrimp and crisp veggies.
These rolls were herbaceous, healthy, absolutely delicious –and I LOVED them, but thought they might be a little intimidating to make myself — well, once I tried them, I realized I was wrong, but I learnt a few tricks along the way.
> Get all your ingredients ready to go before you roll (that classic mise-en-place again!)
> Use lots of super colorful veggies both for the visual appeal and health benefits
> Use a plastic cutting board (not wood) and keep it damp so the rice paper doesn’t stick to the board.
> Keep your fingers moist so the rice paper doesn’t stick to them
> Don’t worry about them looking a little less than perfect – -they will still taste amazing!
Now, I re-create my favorite Vietnamese dish at home regularly. I love to BE BRAVE and serve this with a variety of dipping sauces from our Oil & Vinegar store instead of the traditional peanut sauce, but email me if you would like an easy peanut sauce recipe too.
So start rolling and dipping!
Nime Chow — Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
I package clear, edible rice paper sheets (See Chef Note)
1 lb medium shrimp (30-40 count), peeled and deveined (See Chef Note)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai Basil, but sweet basil will work too)
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 ½ cups red/purple cabbage, finely shredded
1 ½ cups matchstick carrots
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 medium cucumber, deseeded and cut into thin ¼ inch strips
4 oz Vermicelli rice noodles, cooked (optional, See Chef Note)
3 tablespoons O&V Honey Ginger vinegar *
Chopped Roasted peanuts for garnish
Cilantro leaves for garnish
O&V Mango Chili Sauce *
O&V Wasabi Ginger Sauce *
O&V Roasted Sesame Sauce *
O&V Chipotle Sauce with equal parts sour cream, mixed together *
Seasoned Soy Sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons O&V Honey Ginger vinegar *
1-2 Thai chilies, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
I green onion, thinly sliced
Drizzle of O&V Roasted Sesame oil *
Mix together in a bowl
Shred, slice or cut the vegetables and prep all the herbs and place in separate bowls. Steam the shrimp and chill well. Cook the vermicelli noodles, if using and cool (see Chef Note)
Pour 3 tablespoons of Honey Ginger vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Toss the cucumbers in the vinegar, and put back in its original bowl. Repeat with the carrots, radishes and cabbage so that each vegetable is tossed with a little vinegar but kept in separate bowls.
Fill a large shallow dish or pie plate with hot water (as hot as you can handle since you will be putting your fingers in it). Use a plate large enough to fit a piece of rice paper with a little wiggle room around the rice paper.
Use a plastic cutting board as your work surface (where you will make the rolls) and wet it slightly with warm water.
Dip one rice paper in the pie plate of water for 5 seconds, until firm but not stiff (it will soften as you work with it). Lay it on the damp cutting board and quickly arrange fillings across the bottom third of the sheet (closest to you) in the following order: fresh herbs — a few leaves each of basil, cilantro and mint, then 2-3 strips of cucumber, 1 tablespoon carrots, 2-3 slices of radish, 1-2 tablespoons cabbage, top with shrimp.
Don’t overfill, as you will have a hard time rolling and might tear the rice paper. Now fold over the bottom edge of the rice paper that is closest to you to cover the ingredients. Fold in the right side of the rice paper and then the left side over, tucking all the filling in (it should look a little like an open envelope at this point).
Now carefully roll up onto itself like a burrito until it makes a nice tight roll. Repeat with the remaining rice paper, herbs, vegetables and shrimp.
Serve immediately for the best taste and texture along with assorted dipping sauces
Total Time: 45-50 minutes
> Edible rice paper is easily available at Asian grocery stores and also at some regular grocery stores
> I sometimes purchase cooked shrimp to make this quickly and easily. Look for medium sized shrimp – anywhere between 30/40 per pound.
> You can also buy similar sized uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp and steam them as described below
- Slice one lime. Place a pot on the stove with about 1 inch of well salted water. Add 2-3 slices of lime to the water. Add a handful of cilantro stems to the water and bring to a boil. Insert a steamer into the pot.
- Place the shrimp in the steaming basket in a single layer. Reduce the heat to allow the water to simmer, cover the pot and steam the shrimp for about 2 minutes. Depending on the size of your steamer, repeat with the remaining shrimp. Remove the shrimp onto a plate to cool. Then refrigerate until cold before adding to the rolls.
> Traditionally vermicelli noodles are added to Fresh Spring rolls, I prefer mine with just the crisp veggies. If you do use the noodles, cook them (according to package directions) but after draining them, toss in a combination of ½ teaspoon each of Roasted Sesame oil, Soy sauce and Honey Ginger vinegar to augment the flavor of the noodles. Cool to room temperature or refrigerate till ready to use
> Make sure to use a plastic board as the rice paper will stick to a wooden board making the process more difficult.
> If you have leftover rolls, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store for 2-3 days in an airtight container separate from the sauces.
> Make this vegetarian and vegan by eliminating the shrimp or substituting with pieces of pan-fried tofu
* The Honey Ginger vinegar add a nice slightly sweet, slightly gingery flavor to the vegetables and to the soy dipping sauce. You can substitute with a little mixture of honey and a champagne vinegar or white balsamic. The Roasted Sesame Oil is available at most Oil & Vinegar stores and adds a nice toasty flavor to the dipping sauce.
* Each of these dipping sauce items are delicious, easy to use, and have multiple uses beyond this recipe. They create a wonderful array of flavors that complement the shrimp rolls extremely well. If you would like a home-made recipe for a more traditional peanut dipping sauce, feel free to email me for that.
Categories: Entrée, Snacks & Sides, Vegetarian Option, Vegan Option, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vietnamese Shrimp Rolls, Thai Spring Rolls, Nime Chow, Rice Paper Sheets, Honey Ginger Vinegar, Roasted Sesame Oil, Mango Chili Sauce, Wasabi Ginger Sauce, Chipotle Sauce, Roasted Sesame Sauce, Dipping Sauces, Fresh, Asian Appetizer, Light Lunch