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March 1999 Issue
A Taste of Vietnam
by Philip R. Gantt
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Spring Rolls

These are wonderful as appetizers or as an introduction to a very good meal. If fresh bean sprouts are not available, use fresh lettuce sliced into shreds about 1/8 inch thick. These can be dipped in peanut sauce or eaten as is. The rice paper is found in the same place you would find rice noodles. The rice paper is really the same as rice noodle, only formed into a sheet, usually circular.


  • 8 sheets rice paper
  • 8 large steamed prawns, sliced lengthwise
  • ½ cup bean sprouts
  • ½ cup cilantro sprigs
  • Mint leaves
  • Shredded carrot (optional)
  • Rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
To make spring rolls, first prepare the rice paper as follows: Dip one sheet of rice paper into a pot of hot water until it is pliable and soft. Lay the rice paper sheet on a flat surface, like a cutting board, and spread the rice noodles in a line across the sheet. Put the sliced shrimp, sprouts, cilantro, mint and shredded carrots on top of the noodles. Fold the end of the sheet over the top of the fillings and roll into a cylindrical shape. Fold the ends shut and place on a platter for serving. Repeat the process until all of the ingredients are used. Serve with peanut sauce or plum sauce.
  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes
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