Spring Rolls

When I lived in Sarasota, FL…in 2007- I used to go to this Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Cali. 

They made the best fresh spring rolls ever. I really miss that food!

I recently located rice paper sheets in the store and bought it at an instance. I didn’t try to recreate the Pho Cali  rolls, and instead made the spring rolls with different ingredients.

I was getting a little skeptical with the sweet potato and basil combination (wrapped in a rice paper with vermicelli)…but interestingly it turned out to be  the better tasting roll out of the two.

For the other one, I did a quick stir fry of carrots, beans and green onions with some garlic and soy sauce. I was so happy about how fresh it tasted.

I served the rolls with a sweet peanut sauce ( ground roasted peanuts+fried onions+fried garlic+soy sauce+brown sugar+lemon juice- blended until it formed a smooth paste) and our house favorite Sriracha.

I like how these rolls are so light and have a burst of fresh flavors.

The original (Pho Cali) recipe had fresh sweet basil and mint leaves in the rolls…and they didn’t really cook any vegetable (cucumbers, lettuce, tofu, bean sprout and vermicelli).

I didn’t use fresh basil, but turned it into a spread like consistency after boiling it.

It tasted SO GOOD with the sweet potato.

Serving 8 rolls

Cooking time 30 min

Things You Will Need:

For sweet potato roll

Rice paper sheets (spring roll sheets)

1 big sweet potato (cut into long thin sticks and half boiled)

1 cup fresh basil leaves

vermicelli

2 tbs sesame seed oil

2 tsp sweet paprika

salt

oil for frying

Boil the basil leaves in water for about 3 to 4 min. Strain and put in ice cold water (to get a bright green color). Add the sesame seed oil, salt and basil leaves in a blender and mix it till it turns into a smooth paste. You are looking for a spread like consistency. Deep fry the the half boiled sweet potato sticks (you can also roast it in the oven with little oil for a healthier option)…sprinkle with salt and paprika while they are hot.

To assemble: Follow the instructions on the rice paper sheet package to use and roll. On the rice paper sheet spread about a teaspoon of the basil, arrange some vermicelli and place few sticks of the fried and seasoned sweet potato (room temperature). Roll and serve immediately.

For Carrot and Beans Roll

Rice paper sheets (spring roll sheets)

1 carrot, cut into sticks (of desired length)

about 10 green beans, cut into stick (of desired length)

3 green onions, cut into thin sticks

2 cloves garlic

1 tbs sesame seed oil

1 tbs soy sauce

vermicelli

salt to taste

Boil the carrots and the beans till they are Al Dente. In a wok on high, heat up the oil, quickly stir fry the garlic and add green onions, stirring continuously cook for about a minute. Add carrots and beans and continue to cook for another minute or two. Add soy sauce and mix well. Taste and adjust the salt, as the soy sauce also has salt in it. Turn the heat off and let it cool (room temperature).

To Assemble: Place vermicelli on the rice paper. Place about a tablespoon of the stir fry mixture on top of the noodles. Fold as per instructions on the package and serve immediately.