I found some interesting facts about Vietnamese Cuisine here, but this is what stood out for me: Vietnamese cuisine traditionally features a combination of five fundamental taste "elements" in the overall meal: spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (earth). Common ingredients include fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. Vietnamese recipes use lemongrass, ginger, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander, Saigon cinnamon, bird's eye chili, lime and basil leaves. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is known for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, and reliance on herbs and vegetables, and is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.
Most northern Vietnamese foods feature light and balanced flavours that result from subtle combinations of many different flavouring ingredients. The use of meats such as pork, beef, and chicken were relatively limited in the past, and as a result freshwater fish, crustaceans – particularly crabs – and mollusks became widely used. Fish sauce, soy sauce, prawn sauce, and limes are among the main flavouring ingredients.
When we arrived, the table was set and we grabbed a chair, settled in and caught up with everyone with a glass of wine in the hand of course.
Kelly took the centre stage and gave us some background on Vietnam and then demonstrated how to make the spring roll.
It's the simplest thing to make with the freshest ingredients. First you put some boiled water in a shallow dish and place a rice paper sheet in the water. You leave it in there for about a minute, until its got a translucent appearance. Then you place it on your plate. Now you can add any of these lovely fresh ingredients: carrots, cucumber, celery, noodles, basil, coriander, mint, bean sprouts sesame seeds, lettuce, avo, smoked chicken, fish sauce and sweet chilli.
You then simply roll it up, dip it in the yummy dipping sauce and take a crunchy bite. And oh man is this spring roll delicious!! You don't even deep fry it, how healthy? So quick and easy to make, you just don't have a choice, you have to try it!!
You can buy these rice paper wraps from a spot in Claremont called Mainland China. This was so delicious, everyone had two spring rolls and I must confess I had three!
Here's Kelly's recipe for the vietnamese dipping sauce:
Mix 2 tablespoons sugar in a little warm water - add lime juice (about 40ml), rice vinegar, (40ml), fish sauce (about 40ml) grated ginger, garlic, chilli, light soy sauce, and sweet chilli. I just work with the flavours until I get to the taste I like best. for people who are not into the traditional dipping sauce I used little pots of plain sweet chilli and plain light soy sauce.
I just absolutely love this girls passion for cooking, to have a glimpse into her kitchen, follow her Facebook page called Jackson's Kitchen here (named after her cute bunny!!)
Kelly did an outstanding job at hosting and I must say that she remind me of Bree from Desperate Housewives. She is just as super organised and love cooking and baking like the character. Her BFF at home is Jackson, her rabbit. So how perfect to end the night off with some rabbit sweeties too!
As always it was great to catch up with everyone, some quality time spent with stunning friends, some good wine consumed, delish new food tasted and another new skill learnt.
Please try making these vietnamese springrolls and comment on this post and let me know how it turned out!