Je Mange. Donc, Je Suis.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Thai-Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

Fresh Spring Roll is my top-listed dish of all time due to its healthy, simple yet beautiful presentation with colorful herbs and vegetables as well as its perfect blend with grilled or barbecued meat and sweet & sour chili sauce, ideally for picnic food and Tapas-BBQ-Cocktail party among friends 
or just anytime you feel like...anytime, really! Trust me :) 
This recipe is a tribute to my hungry love for Hoi An's grilled pork/chicken skewer with some adjustment to my Thai tongue, of course. For quick and tricky short-cut, you can buy grilled meat from your favourite hawker in town. Thai people, from all walks of life, are very familiar to marinated pork skewer, or "Moo Ping" / "Moo Yang" in Thai. The children love to eat it with steamed glutinous rice as breakfast before they go to school. You can buy it with price range from 5 Thai Baht up to 45 Thai Baht a skewer. I still recall the nostalgic taste of the best "Moo Ping" in my hometown when I was a little girl...long long time ago...and Here I go again! :)
1 kg chicken thigh fillets or 1 kg prawn or 1 kg beef or 1 kg pork or 1 kg scallop
3 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped and blended
2-3 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar (more or less, to taste)
1 teaspoon galangal powder
2 teaspoons turmeric or curry powder
3 tablespoons oyster sauce 
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons (2-3 cilantro roots, 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and 2 teaspoons black pepper, grounded…using mortar to crush them together)  
  • To make the marinade, place oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, crushed cilantro root, garlic & black pepper, shallot, lemongrass, galangal powder, turmeric/curry powder and vegetable oil in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Shred meat into individual portions. Combine meat in the marinade bowl, toss several times to coat and cover. 
  • Cover the bowl with hygienic plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours (or overnight if desired, but not necessarily). Drain. 
  • Assemble 3-4 shredded meat for each skewer. Skewering the meat in chunks makes it accessible and helps cook it evenly.  Barbecue or grill over medium to high heat for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for another 2 minutes.  
Vietnamese Rice Paper (Spring roll wrapper) 
  • Take one piece of rice paper at a time. Dip it into warm water for 5 seconds or until soft. 
  • Lay it on a plate. Place grilled meat and vegetable (cucumber sticks, shredded carrot, cilantro leaves, mint leaves, sweet basil leaves, spring onion, bean sprouts and lettuce) on the rice paper. 
  • Roll it up tightly, folding in the sides so that the filling is completely enclosed.
  • Serve with sweet & sour chili sauce, roasted white sesame seeds and coriander sprigs. (My preference is always without grounded peanut, shredded carrot)
For dipping sauce:
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Vinegar
¼ cup water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ tablespoon chili, crushed
¼ cup Shredded carrot (optional)
1-2 tablespoons Grounded Peanut (optional)
Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and water in a medium saucepan. Gently stir the mixture over a low heat until dissolved completely and thickened. Leave to cool. Add in crushed chili, grounded peanut as well as shredded carrot when serving.


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