Vietnam: How to Make Vietnamese Salad Rolls

About Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Like other types of Asian spring rolls, salad rolls are believed to have originated from China. They were a seasonal food consumed during the spring, which is how it got its name. Filled with the new season’s freshly harvested vegetables, spring rolls were a welcome change from the preserved foods of the long winter months.

(Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Options Available)

Ingredients

Salad Rolls:

  • 1lb of pork belly (sub for tofu, avocado for veg version)
  • 1lb of shrimps (sub for tofu, avocado for veg version)
  • 200g rice vermicelli
  • 1 cucumber
  • 20 sheets of rice paper
  • 1 lettuce
  • mint, cilantros, chives
  • 300g of bean sprout

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of minced shallot 
  • 1 cup of Hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (optional)
  • 1 cup of broth (from cooking the pork belly - can sub for vegetable broth)
  • ½ cup of crush roast peanut (optional)
  • hot chili (optional)

Preparation

Salad Rolls:

Step 1
Boil water. Add rice vermicelli noodles and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until they turns soft (follow the instructions on the package). Once cooked, take them out and rinse them in cold water to stop the vermicelli from overcooking.

Step 2
Boil pork belly with 1 teaspoon of salt. When it boils, turn the heat to medium low and cook for about 30 - 35 minutes. Use a chopstick to spoke the meat. If there is no red water coming out, the meat is cooked.

Step 3
Take the pork bellow out of the boiling water and put in cold water to avoid blackening. Save the boiling pork stock to use to make the dipping sauce.

Step 4
Once cooled completely, slice the pork belly into thin slices.

Step 5
Cook the shrimp in boiling water for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove them and put them in ice water to stop them from over-cooking.

Step 6
Peel the shrimps' skin, then cut them in a half vertically and devein them.

Step 7
Slice the cucumber into 3" long thin slices. Wash the lettuce, mint, and cilantro, then spin the water out.

Step 8
Prepare a dish of warm water. Soften the rice paper by quick soaking it in the dish. 

Step 9
Lay it on a flat surface, like a plate or a clean cutting board.

Step 10
Add the lettuce, mint, cilantro, cucumber and vermicelli across the center of the rice paper, leaving about 2’’ each size. Add pork and shrimp. Roll once, and then fold 2 sides in. Continue to roll the wrap gently and tightly.

Dipping Sauce:

Step 1
Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, followed by 1 tbsp of minced shallots and garlic.

Step 2
Add hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and 1 cup of broth from the pork belly cooking water.

Step 3
Stir well and cook slowly on low heat until it thickens. 

Step 4
Top the sauce with some crushed roasted peanuts and minced chilli on top.

Step 5
Dip your salad rolls into the sauce.

Step 6
Enjoy!

Be sure to post your cooking results on social media using the hashtag #SurreyFusion and tag @surreybcevents.

 

About Vietnam

The settlement of Vietnamese nationals in Canada is relatively recent. It resulted from two waves of immigration in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The first wave consisted mostly of middle- class people who were welcomed to Canada for their professional skills after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Because Vietnam had been part of the French colony of Indochina until 1954, these immigrants generally spoke French, if not English.

The second wave of immigration consisted of refugees from the former South Vietnam, seeking to escape the harsh living conditions and deteriorating human-rights situation following the reunification of the two Vietnams into a single country. These refugees were widely referred to in the media as “boat people.” Moved by the desperate plight of the hundreds of thousands who, to escape the Communist regime, took to the high seas in makeshift boats that threatened to sink at any moment, many Canadians offered to sponsor their journey to Canada.

In July 1979, the Government of Canada committed to accept 50,000 refugees from Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) by the end of the year. In April 1980, the government revised the target number of refugees it would admit and announced that Canada would accept 10,000 more. This brought the number of refugees to 60,000 for the year 1979–80.

Culture

The Vietnamese culture is one of the oldest in Southeast Asia and is heavily influenced by the Chinese culture. After Vietnam attained independence from China in the 10th century, the country began to expand southwards which led to the incorporation of elements of the Champa and Khmer cultures into the Vietnamese culture. Later, French colonial rule in Vietnam introduced the Western culture to the country and led to the spread of Catholicism and the adoption of the Latin alphabet.

Once the communist regime started in Vietnam, several restrictions were placed over cultural exchanges with the Western civilization and instead exposure to the cultures of other communist nations like Cuba, Soviet Union, and others was encouraged. Despite the changes over the years, some elements of the Vietnamese culture like the veneration of the ancestors, respect for family values, devotion to study, etc., remained intact.

Food

Vietnamese cuisine encompasses the foods and beverages of Vietnam, and features a combination of five fundamental tastes in overall meals. Each Vietnamese dish has a distinctive flavor which reflects one or more of these elements. Common ingredients include shrimp paste, fish sauce, bean sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables. French cuisine has also had a major influence due to the French colonization of Vietnam. Vietnamese recipes use lemongrass, ginger, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander, Saigon cinnamon, bird's eye chili, lime, and Thai basil leaves.

Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of dairy and oil, complementary textures, and reliance on herbs and vegetables. It is also low in sugar and is almost always naturally gluten-free, as many of the dishes are made with rice noodles, rice papers and rice flour instead of wheat. With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.

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