Light and refreshing, these fresh rolls are bursting with flavor from fresh herbs, lime juice and fish sauce. Addictive and delicious.
Vietnamese food has always been one of my favorite cuisines and continues to rank in my top 3 to this day. Unlike much of the Americanized Chinese and Indian foods we see in restaurants, Vietnamese food is light, fresh and doesn’t leave you with an over-stuffed food hangover. (Ok, maybe I should eat less naan but I can’t help myself.)
What is the secret? Fresh herbs. Whether you order a vermicelli noodle bowl, a beef salad or these traditional fresh rolls, you will often find a variety of fresh herbs including mint, Thai basil, cilantro and more.
As a child, one of my favorite food memories is dining at Mr. Lee’s Vietnamese restaurant every Sunday and ordering the “make your own” fresh roll platter. It often came with charbroiled pork meatballs instead of shrimp and a giant platter of herbs, lettuces, cucumbers, carrots and more so that I could roll to my heart’s content.
Mr. Lee’s has been closed for over 10 years so I head to my own kitchen whenever I get a craving for these rolls. If you’ve never made them at home before, don’t be afraid to try! It is the perfect no-cook dinner for warm weather months and they can truly be filled with any meats or veggies you have on hand.
No fork required.
- 12 rice paper wrappers
- 12 large cooked shrimp - sliced in half horizontally
- 2 oz vermicelli rice noodles - cooked and cooled
- 1½ cups Apple Radish Slaw with Honey Lime Jalapeño Vinaigrette
- ½ cup cilantro sprigs
- Boil 8 cups of water and keep warm.
- Whisk together dipping sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
- To prepare shrimp, remove tail and slice in half horizontally. (This allows you to fill the rolls with 2 pieces of shrimp without making the rolls too thick.)
- Place vermicelli noodles in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes then drain with cool water; set aside.
- Place apple radish slaw in a small bowl and begin creating an assembly line with the noodles, shrimp and cilantro sprigs.
- To soften the rice paper, fill a shallow pie plate or cake pan with boiling water. Add one rice paper at a time and soak for 5 seconds then move to a plate to fill and roll.
- Working from the center of the roll, add two shrimp slices and top with noodles, a couple tablespoons of slaw and several cilantro sprigs.
- Fold in the sides then bring bottom over the filling and tuck while rolling tightly. t
- Place on a platter and continue rolling remaining 11 sheets.
- Serve with dipping sauce on the side.