Vietnamese spring rolls with a twist

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All day today, I was craving Vietnamese food, and in particular, spring rolls. This was one of the staple meals my mom would make when I was a kid. The table would overflow with plates heaped high in veggies and noodles and all the ingredients that go into spring rolls and we’d all debate over whose spring roll “rolling style” was the best. Was it the neatest? the most efficient use of ingredients? The largest? It was always a fresh, healthy, and delicious meal, made all the more fun by the assemble-your-own nature of the spring rolls.

Looking to recreate this for myself a bit, I headed to the nearest grocery store – Carnival Foods. Normally, I just go to the albertsons or walmart by work, but today I had to stop home first so i figured i’d try out Carnival. I cant’ believe how cheap the veggies are!!! 3 cucumbers for $1, same for mangoes and avocados. Fresh basil is a $1.29 for a huge bunch. I’ve been getting ripped off at the grocery stores in the trendier part of town! but no more! i’ve found the secret stash of cheap, fresh ingredients is, as i’d always known, in the ethnic parts of town.

Anyway, I had been reading recipes of fish tacos and was interested in trying out some different ingredients from my mom’s traditional grilled fish, shrimp, lettuce, cucumber, herbs, bean sprouts based on those fish taco recipes. Below you will see I ended up with fresh mint, basil & cilantro, mango, cucumber, red bell peppers, avocado. I also got some frozen tilapia filets for $2.99 for 4 filets which i rubbed with lemon pepper, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and lightly patted with some flour. I cooked the fish in a pan sprayed with pam til they were flakey.

Next you see the assembly process! Noodles, then fish, then as much or as little of the veggies as you’d like…

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And then you roll them all up, dip in some sauce (lime/sugar/water/fish sauce/garlic chili mix) and devour!

very fresh and satisfying!

Rice paper / Spring roll wrappers
Rice noodles/Vermicelli

4 tilapia filets
enough of each spice to rub into each filet:
lemon pepper
garlic powder
black pepper
flour for dredging

Any veggies you like, but you MUST (in my opinion) have:

I also used:
red bell pepper
mango (my fruit interloper was a GREAT partner to the light white fish!)

3 limes squeezed
4-5 TB sugar
~2 cups water
3 TB fish sauce
1 TB garlic chili sauce
(this is VERY estimated, try looking up recipe for vietnamese “nuoc cham”)

1. cook the vermicelli
2. cook the fish
3. wash/cut veggiestte
4. prepare the sauce by mixing all listed ingredients together
5. wet rice paper and lay on plate. place noodles, fish, veggies on top.
6. roll up burrito style, folding over the ends before you roll

a very healthy and delicious Vietnamese-american meal! 😉

another popular sauce for the spring rolls is made by heating
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
enough water to make it a saucy consistency

stir as it heats til everything is blended. top with some crushed peanuts.

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