I got to go home this weekend and see the parentals. Mom got a fantastic new haircut and had I not been so exhausted from the trip, I would have taken pictures. And no matter how much I really disliked my dad when I was growing up, I really miss him now that I live so far away.
Something else I noticed while I was home: everything tastes better when it comes from mom's kitchen! We had spring rolls for lunch and they were delicious! People are always asking me how I make them so I thought I would share the recipe here:
My Spring Rolls!
Rice paper (the package will say banh trang on it)
Noodles (bean thread noodles, they're small round white noodles)
Fresh Mints (spearmint, all kinds of assorted asian mints, the more the merrier)
Fresh Green Onions
Veggies are best when they're fresh and cleaned. No need to chop these up.
Purple onion (chopped into thin semi-circles)
Fish, crab meat, and shrimp make good additions, but I really like thinly sliced beef. Can't tell you what part of the beef it should be, but it should not be fatty at all. Put the beef in the freezer until it's just tough enough to slice through. This way you can get thin slices which are easier to roll and bite through.
Pre-wet the rice paper in warm water. They'll stick together so what we do is wet one, put a dry one on top of it, wet another and put it on top, and so on. Then we peel them off one by one as we go. It's easier to moisten the rice papers before rolling so they're not so stiff.
Boil enough water for the noodles to cook. Read the directions as they cook fairly quick. Rinse with cool water and let dry.
Set a small pot of water (1-2 cups) to boil and add half a cup of the vinegar and onions. Drop in just enough beef to use in a couple of rolls. They'll cook in 10 seconds, so watch them. I like mine just a tad rare, so I take them out quick.
Line up the beef on the edge of the rice paper, add noodles, a couple of leaves of green onion, some mints, a basil leaf, and other greenery. Tuck in a side and roll it into a little roll.
This is best served with a peanut sauce. All you need is some warm water, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, crushed peanuts, and sriracha sauce. Mix the hoisin sauce and peanut butter in satisfying quantities and add the warm water to thin the sauce as needed. Add the peanuts and hot sauce to taste.
Good stuff. If you try it, let me know how you like it!