Vietnamese fresh spring rolls with hoisin peanut sauce and soda chanh limeade

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.

Letting kids make their own food while you share the day is always Guai for the heart and belly.


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