I made summer rolls, the most delicious Vietnamese snack everinvented. Actually I wouldn't know about that, I've never been to Vietnam, but they make a pretty good reason to go there all by themselves. They're hard to come by in Amsterdam, so I just make my own. Unbelievably fresh and tasty!
. Summer rolls aren't hard to make, but it's a bit of work. Take your time and enjoy it, preferably make them together. Summer rolls are just sheets of rice paper, soaked in hot water until they're soft and filled with lots of delicious fresh vegetables, herbs, tofu, shrimp, even mango if you like it. The trick is to have all your ingredients ready, so you can set up an assembly line and to eat the rolls as soon as they're done. It's like sushi: if you wait for more than an hour, they become dry and tough and gross. If you have to wait for a bit, make sure to cover them with a damp towel. I'm pretty sure the ingredients I chose aren't all authentic, but I think it's okay to
adjust to your liking. You can easily find recipes online if you're interested in the real thing..
Rice paper (get it at your local Asian supermarket)
Lettuce: soft, smaller leaves - Boston or romaine lettuce is often mentioned but I found that this lettuce mix was just fine.
(Thai) basil, cilantro, mint: any of these or a combination are fine, just make sure to use lots of it because it makes it taste so fresh. Especially Thai basil makes a big difference if you can find it.
Strips of fried tofu with soy sauce or whatever sauce/spices you like, or boiled shrimp. Fried sliced mushroom, preferably shiitake, also with a little soy- or oyster sauce. Bean sprouts, raw or blanched. Crushed peanuts.
Lay out your ingredients, lettuce first, and roll it up like a little mini burrito. Serve with a Vietnamese dipping sauce: something with fish sauce, lime juice, red pepper, garlic, ginger and maybe a little soy sauce and sugar. Hoisin sauce works nicely too, or even that sweet egg roll chili dipping sauce from a bottle. .