Have you ever had nime chow? Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls usually containing lettuce, thai basil, rice noodles, bean sprouts and shrimp – one of my family’s favorites when we eat out.
We’ve also made them at home, and they’re so easy, we should do it more often.
For this version, I was, frankly, inspired by the pea pods in our garden buckets.
I sliced up some tofu, tossed it in rice flour, browned it in oil, then bathed it in a mixture of sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, cider vinegar (we were very low on rice vinegar) and a little sugar.
Bill picked some beet greens, some lettuce, and this beautiful red “green” called Mountain Spinach. It’s a gorgeous red/purple color.
And since we had leftover spaghetti (from sesame noodles Bill made recently), I decided to go with those instead of rice noodles.
I got all my ingredients together, plus a large pan of water for the rice paper.
I painted the countertop with a little oil to keep the rice paper from drying out and from sticking, then, one at a time, I softened a large, round rice paper and assembled the spring rolls.
From bottom to top it’s rice paper, leaf (or leaves, if they’re small), spaghetti, julienned pea pods, and tofu.
Here’s a closer look:
Next, working quickly, I rolled them up tightly – burrito-style – and lined them up on a platter, alternating the green and the purple versions.
And very tasty – they were gone quickly.
Julie especially liked the purple ones. Big surprise.
Bill made a little dipping sauce for them – I don’t know what’s in it, but I’m thinking sugar, rice vinegar (he used up the last of it), a little peanutbutter, fish sauce, shredded carrots and radishes…probably other things, but I wasn’t watching him.
We also liked a bit of sriracha on them, too.
Well, Bill and I did. The kids stuck with the sauce Bill concocted.
And at the end, Julia had fun building odd little food sculptures with fallen bits of spaghetti and pea pods and salad leaves….
Playing with food is strongly encouraged in this family.
You might have figured that out.