Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Ever since traveling to Vietnam in the Spring of 2015 I have fallen in love with the food.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls
6 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
16 large dried rice paper wrappers
32 shrimps blanched
8 large lettuce leaves, preferably soft ones, halved and hard ribs removed
1 cup, matchstick cut carrots
2 cucumbers, julienned
1 cup snap pea julienned
1 bell pepper, cored, julienned
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1 cup loosely packed mint
1 cup loosely packed basil

Orange Soy Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon hot sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
zest of one orange
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

Soak the noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes, until soft. Drain.

To assemble the rolls, fill a shallow dish half full with hot water (hot to the touch but not boiling. and submerge one rice paper wrapper for 5 seconds, let excess water drop off.  Place wrapper on a clean, dry surface and fold in half to form a half-circle. The wrapper should still be a bit stiff, but will soften by the time you’ve finished filling with vegetables.

Place a lettuce leaf in the middle of the half-circle and top it with a forkful of noodles, and then add shrimp and a bit of each of the vegetables and herbs.  Carefully roll up the Vietnamese Spring Roll and set it on a dish, seam-side down in single layer. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. If not serving immediately, chill in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.

To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Stir in sesame seeds. Serve alongside the rolls.