Vietnamese Spring Rolls are another favourite Project CHEF family-style meal. Your whole family can gather around and roll together. What will you put in your spring rolls? If you have been growing sprouts with us, this recipe is the perfect time to use them. Sprouts pack a punch of flavour, so be careful not to use too much. In this recipe, we sprinkled a little layer of pea sprouts, radish sprouts, and basil sprouts. See our Growing Microgreens Activity on how to grow your own sprouts at home.
Yield: 8 Rolls
Preparation Time: About 1 hour
- ½ package thin dried rice noodles
- 4 – 6 small leaves of butter lettuce
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/4 English cucumber
- 4 green onions
- ½ (125mL) cup radish sprouts (or bean sprouts)
- 1/4 (50mL) cup fresh mint
- 1/4 (50mL) cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 (50mL) cup fresh basil
- ½ package firm tofu, cut into cm cubed sticks
- 8x 25cm (10-inch) rice paper wrappers (plus extra is case of tearing)
- cooking tray with sides, or large bowl (for dipping rice wrappers)
- large bowl
- cutting board
- small sharp knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- small bowls for the prepared vegetables and tofu
- Wash and dry all the vegetables.
- Fill a large bowl with hot water. Add the rice noodles, breaking them up a bit as you add them. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Drain the noodles in a strainer in the sink. Shake out the water. Put aside for now.
- Place the lettuce in a stack on a cutting board. Roll up the lettuce leaves into a tube shape and slice into thin strips. Place in a small bowl.
- Grate a carrot and place in a small bowl.
- Cut the piece of cucumber in ½. Using a small spoon, remove the seeds from the cucumber. Slice the cucumber into thin strips. Place in a small bowl.
- Trim the tops and bottoms off of the green onions so that they are about 15 cm long. Carefully cut the green onions in half, lengthwise. Place on a paper towel or plate.
- Measure the radish sprouts and place in a small bowl.
- Remove the stems from each herb (basil, mint and cilantro). Tear the herbs into smaller pieces. Place the herbs in a small bowl and combine.
- Cut ½ block of tofu into long sticks, about a cm wide.
- Clear off a work area at the counter. Place a clean tea towel in front of you and gather all the bowls of prepared ingredients and the rice paper wrappers around you.
- Put some warm tap water into a baking tray with sides or in a large bowl and put it by the tea towel as well.
- Submerge a rice paper wrapper in the water and carefully swish it around for a moment. The wrapper should be soft but not falling apart when you remove from the water. Take it out of the water and lay it on the tea towel. Let the wrapper soften for a minute.
- Place strips of tofu in a line on the bottom 1/3 of the rice paper wrapper, leaving a strip of wrapper showing at the bottom and each side.
- Place about 1/3 (75mL) cup of rice noodles on top of the tofu, leaving the bottom and sides of the noodle showing.
- On top of the tofu and noodles, place some lettuce, leaving some wrapper showing at the bottom and sides.
- Place on top a line of grated carrot, cucumber strips and radish sprouts.
- Sprinkle with some herbs.
- Lay a piece of green onion on top (trim any extra, if the green onion is too long).
- Fold the bottom strip of wrapper up over the ingredients and carefully pull towards you to snug up the wrapper. Fold in the left and right sides of the wrapper and roll the bundle up into a tight log. The top edge of the wrapper should stick to close the roll.
- Place the spring rolls on a plate or tray.
- Repeat steps 11 – 18 until you have used all the ingredients.
- Refrigerate the rolls until you are ready to serve them. When ready to serve, serve whole or cut in half. (If you are serving the spring rolls cut, be sure they are rolled tightly, or they will fall apart.)
STEP-BY-STEP – VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS!
Gather your equipment and ingredients. Note: we have chives from the garden instead of green onions and two coloured carrots for flair.
We used vermicelli noodles made with mung beans instead of rice noodles. The flavour and cooking process remains the same.
High quality ingredients are so special. We grew these sprouts ourselves for Project CHEF. Clockwise from the top: pea sprouts, radish sprouts, arugula (the tiny leaves), sunflower sprouts, and basil sprouts.
Now your ingredients are ready. Put them in an order that makes sense for you to fill your rolls. Place water in a big bowl for the rice wrapper. Set up your rolling station with your bowl of vermicelli noodles, all your veggies and tofu, and a clean tea towel.
If you can still feel and see the grid pattern on the wrapper, it is easier to work with. Use two hands to lift it out and put it flat onto your clean tea towel. Gently pull out any edges that are folded over.
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