Everyone seems to love Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce. I too love these crunchy rolls bursting with the flavour of fresh herbs and vegetables that are all naturally gluten free.
I love watching people make these salad rolls in my cooking classes. They are a bit of a challenge at first but once you roll up a few and figure out how much filling to use they come together easily. I always suggest eating the first few or the ones that don’t look so great. Then you can save the nicest looking ones to serve at the table.
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I like to prepare all the ingredients including the nuoc cham sauce the day before I make and serve my salad rolls to company. Then when my guests arrive I just pull out the container(s) and invite everyone to start. I include rice vermicelli noodles, grated carrot, chopped lettuce, cooked shrimp and lots of fresh herbs. Always cilantro, and mint if I have it, but fresh Thai basil is the best if you can find it.
Next I fill a large bowl with hot water for soaking the rice paper (I know exactly which bowl to use for this purpose). Then the assembly line is ready so you can pour some wine and begin rolling.
Nuoc mam is the Vietnamese word for fish sauce and nuoc cham is the traditional dipping sauce that is made with fish sauce.
Got vegan friends? Someone allergic to fish? Try this Vegan Fish Sauce Substitute so everyone can enjoy Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Even it you think it sounds weird I used it for one of my classes and no one thought they could tell the difference.
Rice paper wrappers are made from a mixture of rice flour, water and salt then rolled and dried into very brittle, thin shapes. The round papers are used for salad rolls and spring rolls, while the triangular ones are traditionally used at the table to wrap grilled foods. The wrappers are often sold in hard plastic containers and should be stored flat in the container or an air tight plastic bag. If left open they will curl up and loose their shape.
To use them soften sheets one at a time in hot water. Slip the wrapper into the water for less than a minute until it becomes flexible enough to work with. Place the wrapper on the counter or a cutting board and add a small amount of filling on the bottom third of the wrapper. Fold the bottom up to cover the filling. Then fold the two sides into the middle. Now roll the filling up until you have a small sausage shape roll.
I roll up about 12 or 24 salad rolls at a time depending on the occasion. Place them in a single layer on a tray and cover with plastic wrap. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 8 hours before serving.
Salad rolls can be served whole or cut in half. You can garnish your plates or platter with the fresh herbs that you used in the filling. When I want an idea for a different presentation I just type the name of my recipe into the Google Images search bar and voila, more ideas than I have time to look at.
I’d love to hear in the comments below how your salad roll wrapping worked out.
|rice paper wrappers|
|cooked shrimp, halved horizontally (3 halves per salad roll)|
|fine rice noodles|
|lettuce, finely shredded|
|carrot, finely shredded|
|cilantro, Thai basil and/or mint leaves|
|NUOC CHAM DIPPING SAUCE|
|½ tsp crushed chiles|
|½ Tbsp vinegar|
|½ cup fish sauce|
|¼ cup lime juice|
|¾ cup warm water|
|½ small carrot, shredded|
|2 cloves garlic, minced|
|½ cup sugar|
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