On Spring Day I found myself reading an article posted on the Independent Traveler site written by Lori Sussle – “12 International Foods to try before you die” – it’s kind of like a “food bucket list” for us ordinary people [see the full list below].
The first item on the list was Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Fresh Spring Rolls. Spring Rolls are normally associated with the freshness and vitality that comes with the onset of Springtime and are versatile, healthy and easy to make.
You can prepare either vegetarian Spring Rolls or add seafood or even meat and eggs, whatever your heart delights – but the most important thing for me when serving a fresh spring roll … is the dipping sauce. The sauce needs to compliment the ingredients inside the roll – you can make peanut sauce, soy based sauce or sweet and sour sauce etc. I decided to make spring rolls with ricotta cheese and my own dipping sauce – yip – I think the foodies will tell you that it is somewhat of a no-no to fuse Italian with Eastern cuisine. Well it worked – East meets West … its delicious and the ricotta adds a lovely creaminess to the roll.
In my recipe I cannot specify the quantity of ingredients you will need as this depends on how many Spring Rolls you would like to make or how “fat” you would like to make them…but I have included a list of suggested ingredients with a link to a YouTube video which shows you how to make your own fresh spring rolls. Try my dipping sauce – its fresh, salty, sour and sweet all at once and adds just another dimension to eating this Eastern treat.
An accidental tourists’ culinary bucket list ….
“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed pope mobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” — Anthony Bourdain
1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls – fresh spring rolls is a Vietnamese delicacy known as gỏi cuốn. Depending on the region, spring rolls are made in different manners with different ingredients.
2. Gnocchi – come in various shapes and guises and are soft dumplings made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato and egg.
3. Meze – is a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Balkans as either a breakfast, lunch or even dinner – with or without drinks (I prefer it with drinks… ). In Levantine cuisines and in the Caucasus region, meze is served at the beginning of all large-scale meals.
4. Lobster Roll – a traditional lobster roll that contains the fresh cooked meat of a lobster, tossed with mayonnaise and served on a grilled hot dog bun or similar roll, so that the opening is on the top rather than on the side.
5. Churros and Chocolate – a churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, it is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux-based snack. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche.
6. Kangaroo meat – is a meat from any of the species of kangaroo. It is produced in Australia from wild animals.
7. Saag Paneer– is an Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of spinach and paneer (Indian farmer’s cheese) in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach.
8. Ćevapčići – is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe.
9. Poutine – is a French Canadian dish, made with French fries, topped with brown gravy and curd cheese.
10. Completo – is a hot dog variation eaten in Chile, which, is usually served with ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. It is normally a lot larger than the American type of hot dog we have come to know.
11. Queso Helado – is reminiscent of frozen rice pudding flavored with cinnamon. Some say it’s like creamy shaved ice. It’s made from sweet milk with a touch of coconut or cinnamon.
12. Ktefa – traditional Moroccan dessert made by layering fried or baked warqa pastry with sweetened fried almonds and custard sauce flavored with orange flower water.
Source: Info from various internet web pages
- Dipping Sauce
- 60ml Sweet chillie sauce
- 2t Fish sauce
- 1t White vinegar
- 1t Chillie flakes or one fresh green chillie chopped
- 3T Fresh coriander – chopped
- 80ml Water
- Spring Roll
- Rice paper wrappers – soaked in luke warm to warm water until soft. Don’t soak for too long as it will break easily
- Vermicelli – soaked in boiling water till soft
- Carrots – julienned in +- 6cm lengths
- Cucumber - julienned in +- 6cm lengths
- Spring onion – finely sliced in +- 6cm length
- Avocado slices - +- 6cm lengths
- Bean sprouts
- Ricotto cheese
- Dipping Sauce: Mix all ingredients together.
- Spring Rolls: Youtube video