Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Two Dipping Sauces


1 - 1 1/2 pound boiled shrimp, peeled, deveined and sliced in half
fried tofu, thinly sliced (optional)
rice vermicelli noodles, half of a one pound pkg
lettuce (your favorite variety) torn into small strips
cucumber, seeds removed, and cut into thin strips
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned with excess water shaken out
mint, washed and torn into small pieces
fresh basil leaves, washed and torn into pieces
16- 8 1/2 inch rice paper wrappers
Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc cham), see recipe below
peanut sauce, see recipe below


For salad rolls:

Clean and devein shrimp. Set aside. Bring a medium pan filled with water and 1/2 tsp salt to a rolling boil. Boil shrimp until bright pink and firm (just a few minutes). Drain and allow to cool. 

Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to the package directions and allow to cool on a plate. Set aside.

To make your rolls, fill a shallow pan with hot water, arrange your filling ingredients nearby, and have two empty plates for the finished rolls. 

Begin by submerging a rice paper wrapper into the hot water. Carefully set the wet rice paper  on a clean counter work space. It will become soft very quickly, so dip a second rice paper sheet in the hot water while you wait for the first to become pliable.

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. Don't get frustrated if the first few break or do not turn out. It takes a little practice before you get the hang of using the rice paper. Keep trying!

Place the finished rolls on a plate making sure they do not touch as they can stick together. Continue rolling until you have as many rolls as you would like or until your ingredients are used up.

Serve with peanut dipping sauce. Store extra rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

For Fish Sauce: 

1-2 crushed garlic cloves
1 crushed or minced Thai chili 
1/2 squeezed lime
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup water


Add water, sugar, rice vinegar to a medium pot and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and and fish sauce to hot liquid and stir for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Allow to cool. Refrigerate in an air tight container for up to two weeks.
For Peanut Sauce: 

3/4 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 1/2 medium limes)
4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons chile-garlic paste
1 medium garlic clove, mashed to a paste
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. Serve with salad rolls.

Peanut sauce recipe adapted from: