Did the last post whet your appetite for more Spring Rolls? Have you come back for more? You won’t be disappointed – I certainly wasn’t disappointed with my first encounter with fresh spring rolls before. The nearest thing I have had is duck pancakes at a Chinese restaurant.
Full of fresh crunchy, raw lettuce, cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, spring onions and herbs with freshly cooked prawns or beef, then dipped in a Hoisin based sauce, they were light but filling. Less time consuming to make than the fried spring rolls, they were an interactive ‘make your own’ meal. My kids like having fajitas and this would be a similar experience for them, it would be a fun way to introduce kids to Vietnamese food.
The Sauce – we made lots so these amounts may be too large, the important thing is to taste the sauce and get a flavour that you like, thick enough to coat the spoon but not too thick or sticky – like good gravy.
2 tablespoons oil (a neutral tasting oil)
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
3-4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons of cornflour mixed with water.
In a non-stick small frying pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic to the hot oil, cook it for a minute or so, until it is golden but not burnt. Add the Hoisin and Soy sauces then the mixture of cornflour and water. Heat gently until the sauce is a thick gravy consistency and set aside. If it gets too thick add a little hot water. The sauce can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.
The Fresh Spring Rolls
Large rice pancakes
Hot filling either:
Or Tenderloin beef cut into strips
3 cloves of garlic
First, prepare the fresh vegetables, cutting the carrots and cucumber into matchsticks, washing the herbs, lettuce and beansprouts, shredding the spring onions using a vegetable peeler and laying them out on plates on the table. Also on the table have a bowl of peanuts.
We had two different hot fillings. Both were cooked quickly and taken straight to the table ready for eating.
We had pan fried prawns – simply shelled and fried in a hot pan. The other hot filling was stir fried tenderloin beef. The beef was sliced thinly and mixed with the chopped garlic and sauces in a bowl. A wok was heated up nice and hot with some oil,the onions were added and given a minute to start to cook. Then the beef mixture was added and cooked quickly before being tipped into a bowl to be taken to the table.
A bowl of hot water was placed on the table with a pile of large rice pancakes and each person had a small bowl of the hoisin sauce on their plate. Then it was time to tuck in.
To eat, take a rice pancake, dip it in the hot water until it is pliable and lay it on your plate. Put in all the raw bits and pieces, top with the hot filling, sprinkle with peanuts and roll. Dip the roll into the sauce and crunch, enjoy. It was delicious.
Give them a go and let me know what you think. It was a fun cooking session and all very tasty. Next session is a while away, but watch this space for more from the Maisons-Laffitte cooking club.