Category Archives: Noodles

Bun Rieu Cua

Here’s a tip for any would-be bloggers out there: never say you’re going to blog about something "coming up next." You’re just setting yourself up for serious trouble when Murphy strikes you with a serious case of writer’s block.

It’s been a month since I put in that darn scrolling marquee, proclaiming the soon-to-be posted memoir of our visit to Scott’s Seafood. I thought it would motivate me to keep up with the regular posting. Instead it has been mocking me the whole time.

"C’mon already! What, can’t even put two sentences together? Neener neener neener!"

Bleah. I’ve gotta get over this funk. And the only way to do it is just get posting again. So, I’m going to put the Scott’s Seafood post on the back burner and pull something up to the front burner. A post that has been waiting just as long as the Scott’s Seafood post to see the light of day, but at least hasn’t been thumbing its nose and blowing raspberries at me.

Continue reading Bun Rieu Cua

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

What is the difference between a spring roll and a summer roll?

A spring roll is a roll filled with meat and vegetables, wrapped in a skin usually made from wheat flour, and fried crispy. You commonly find it served with a thick, sweet-sour sauce. King Eggroll in San Jose has built a thriving business on the quality of its spring rolls.

A summer roll is a roll filled with meat and vegetables, wrapped in a skin made from rice paper, and uncooked. (The Vietnamese name, gỏi cuốn literally means “salad roll”.) It is served with a hoisin-peanut dipping sauce. Most Vietnamese take out places, like Huong Lan on Tully Rd., sell various kinds of summer rolls.

Of course, if you have the ingredients, you an assemble them at home yourself. Here, we used shiso, mint, and Thai basil leaves plus rice vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts. Cooked shrimp was the protein of choice for this one. There are lots of choices for different ingredients – use your imagination!

The real trick is in the wrapping. The rice paper sheets are very delicate once they get wet. You quickly dip the skin into a bowl of warm water then immediately move it to the assembling plate. Layer the ingredients, then gently wrap and roll.

To make the dipping sauce, I mixed some hoisin sauce, some chunky peanut butter, a little sesame oil, some water to thin it and some sriracha chili sauce for spiciness.

Annie is much better than me at wrapping summer rolls. Once, in order to save time, I piled a bunch of dry rice paper skins on a plate and poured water over the whole bunch to soften them. Of course, I got a soggy mess, especially with the bottom skins that sat the longest in the water. Good thing these skins are relatively inexpensive! Now, I just leave the wrapping to her.

Aloha, Nate