Cook It. Blog It!
Homemade Vietnamese Spring/Summer Rolls
and Thai Tom Yum Shrimp Soup


I recently discovered this great little Asian store in town, called Shanghai Market. Jon and I are huge fans of all Asian food... Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, and of course, Philippino (since Jon is half-Philippino). I spent nearly 1 hr. in there, even though it's just barely bigger than my own kitchen. The owners were delightful to talk to and offered so many words of advice on how to cook the various dishes I was inquiring about. The wife even offered to call me next time she attends an Asian Cooking class... YAY!

I walked away with the following items, plus some yummy fresh herbs & spices, to make 2 of my family's favorite dishes: Vietnamese Spring/Summer Rolls (a.k.a Goi Cuon) and Thai Tom Yum soup.

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls
Ingredients:
Spring Roll Skins
Fresh Raw Shrimp (figure around 1.5 per roll)
Vermicelli (one small package)
Vietnamese Pork (comes pre-cooked in a roll)
Fresh Cilantro
Fresh Mint
Fresh Basil

To make your Vietnamese Spring/Summer Rolls the first thing to do is to soak your spring roll skins in warm water until they are softened. In the meantime you can shell & cook some fresh raw shrimp, boil your Vermicelli until soft, thinly slice the Vietnamese pork roll (it comes pre-cooked), and slice up your fresh cilantro, mint & basil.

When you are ready to start rolling your Summer Rolls, it is best to set up your ingredients in assembly-line style so you can move through them rather quickly, because if your skins start to dry up they will break up as you roll them.

In this picture you can see my assembly line... the cooked vermicelli on the bottom right, followed by the thinly sliced pork in the middle bowl, the shelled & deveined shrimp, and finally the fresh cilantro, mint & basil up at the top :

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Lay your moist spring roll skin down on a clean flat surface and pile up your ingredients near one end of the skin, in the order show above. Begin to tightly roll the skin around the fillings. You may mess up a couple of times and break the skin, but that is OK... practice makes perfect. I wasted a couple before I figured out just how tightly to roll them without tearing them. The best way to do this is to roll it once just so the fillings are barely covered, then you fold in the sides and then continue rolling it until it is all encompassed.

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Refrigerate rolls until ready to serve.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls are not fried. They are commonly served cold as an appetizer with a dipping sauce. For the dipping sauce I mixed equal parts of the ready-made Spring Roll sauce with some Fish Sauce and served the rolls 3 to a plate like this:

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Thai Tom Yum Soup
ingredients:

Tom Yum Paste
Canned Straw Mushrooms
Fresh Raw Shrimp
Vermicelli (optional)
Fresh Cilantro
Fresh Lime

Bring 3 cups of water to boil and add 2 spoonfuls of Tom Yum Paste to create your savory broth. As the water is boiling add your raw, shelled & deveined shrimp. Continue boiling for 2 - 3 minutes until the shrimp are pink. Remove from stove and add the straw mushrooms and fresh cilantro to your soup.

Right before serving squeeze about a half fresh lime into the broth and garnish with more fresh cilantro. Voila! Savory Tom Yum Soup:

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You can also add cooked vermicelli into this soup (like I did on ours) but the traditional Tom Yum does not have noodles.

If you want to create a milder version for the kiddos, mix your tom yum broth with about equal parts of chicken broth. If your kids (or you) cannot tolerate spicy foods at all, you can always make this with just the chicken broth and add the lime & herbs for flavor.

Enjoy!

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:35 PM

    That looks so good Patty! You make it seem so easy! I have to try it soon.

    Go OBAMA!

    -Alicia

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  2. Alicia, you are welcome for dinner anytime. And be sure to bring that fiance of yours along too! ;)

    patty

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  3. Thanks for the idea. I made the spring rolls last night for dinner, though I have to admit they looked a little ... raw ... to me, so I steamed them. Yum! They were great.

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  4. Jen, thanks for the comment. I haven't tried them steamed but so glad you liked them. I had a feeling the "fresh" rolls would be a bit weird to some who are used to eating the fried or steamed kind, but they really are delicious! All of the ingredients inside th roll are cooked so there's nothing to worry about and the wrapper is just rice paper so it's great too. :)

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  5. Oh - Summer rolls! That's exactly what I could do with right now, to take my mind off the rising water levels!

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  6. wow--this looks amazing, patty. awesome photos, too! this is something both the hubby and i would L-O-V-E...i'm gonna try to work it into my meal rotation this week.

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  7. Tiffany10:54 PM

    Okay, first I must say that I love, love, love your pillow. Heck, I love your style!! Gorgeous fabric! And the pineapple floral arrangement is AWESOME! I hope you get some in Houston.

    Second, I absolutely love the new music you added to your Fall Playlist!! Your music style is so similar to mine when I was in high school. You really took me on memory lane with Depeche Mode, The Smiths, New Order, and Joy Division. Looks like somebody will be shopping on iTunes soon...!

    Love your blog! Keep up the great work and sharing your life with us! :-)

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