Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Black Bean Dipping Sauce

These salad rolls are a popular Vietnamese dish that usually contain an assortment of vegetables, rice vermicelli noodles, chicken, pork or shrimp, and fresh herbs rolled in a rice paper wrapper. I made these salad rolls vegetarian, but feel free to add strips of cooked meat or tofu if you'd like more protein. The rolls themselves are fresh and colourful, and full of different textures. They are very easy to make but can be a little time consuming if you are making a lot, so invite some friends over to help you and then enjoy some salad rolls together!


Rice vermicelli noodles
Romaine lettuce, torn into small strips
Cucumber, seeds removed, and cut into thin strips
Julienned carrots - I used prepackaged carrot slaw
Red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
Fresh basil leaves, torn into very thin strips or left whole - If you're not a huge fan of basil you can substitute cilantro or just leave out the fresh herbs altogether as they can be an overwhelming flavour
Rice paper wrappers

Black Bean Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. black bean sauce - You can substitute the black bean sauce with hoisin sauce if that's what you have on hand or what you prefer
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave
1-2 tsp. ground ginger (adjust to your taste preference)
1 tsp. corn starch


Prepare the black bean dipping sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisking together until thoroughly combined. Heat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave and whisk again.

Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to the package directions. You'll only need about 1/2 of the package so set aside half either before or after cooking for other uses. Add half of the prepared black bean dipping sauce to the vermicelli noodles and stir gently to coat.

To make your rolls, fill a shallow pan with hot water, arrange your filling ingredients nearby, and have two empty plates ready - one for rolling and one to place the finished rolls on. 

Begin by gently submerging a rice paper wrapper into the hot water for 20-30 seconds, until it is soft and pliable. Carefully transfer it from the water onto one of the plates. 

Arrange your filling ingredients in the middle of the wrapper.

 Fold up your roll by folding over one side, then the other, then rolling up from the bottom. The dampness of the roll will make it stick together. It may take a few rolls before you get the technique down.

Place the finished rolls on the other plate. Continue rolling until you have as many rolls as you would like or until your ingredients are used up.

Serve with extra black bean sauce for dipping. Store extra rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

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