Warm Seattle weather calls for fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. Pile in what you want, wrap it like a burrito, dip it and chase it with a cooling and refreshing soda chanh (limeade+club soda)
An appetiter or a meal. I pile everything into a big platter atop an IKEA lazy susan, mix in warm water into the rice paper water bowl dipper (brilliant $7 find at most Asian grocers). The kids pick their fillings and wrap it.
Ingredients for the rolls are traditionally sliced boiled pork, slivered shrimp, bean sprouts, chives (for a spicy bite), herbs such as cilantro, Mint (but I also add laksa leaf for spicy lemony bite), cucumber (I prefer Persian) and lettuce (I prefer romaine). Today I used shredded boiled Chicken and fresh fried tofu.
Most Vietnamese families use fish sauce dipping sauce but growing up, my family made a special hoisin peanut one. I am a home cook so I don’t measure but you can’t really mess this up. Adjust to your preference. Here’s my family recipe:
In a sauce pot, sauté 1/2 shallot in oil, add about 1 cup hoisin sauce, add 2-4 good squirts of ketchup, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter and 1/4 cup water. Stir until everything is mixed to your liking as far as consistency. You should be able to dip a slice of cucumber and it coats it without dripping. If you don’t have ketchup or want it more tangy, skip the ketchup and squeeze in 1/2 lime. Salty sweet sour sauce. Feel free to add more sugar or water as needed because the peanut butter is salted.
Soda chanh (lemon/lime): squeeze lime into cup, add simple syrup of water and sugar, add ice cubes and pour in club soda. You’ll return to this refreshing quencher all summer.