Vietnamese Spring Rolls

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I love this dish and had it as often as I could on my recent trip to Vietnam. It’s delicious, of course, but also easy, healthy, light and versatile. This recipe is a version I created from a little research and experimentation. I think these are especially suited for summer and spring, but I will enjoy them year-round.

1/4 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 oz rice vermicelli (thin rice noodles)

lettuce leaves

shredded carrot

chives or julienned green onion

mint leaves

cilantro

4 to 6 sheets round Vietnamese rice paper

dipping sauce:

1 cup boiling water

1/3 cup fish sauce

1/4 (or less, preference) cup sugar

2 T lime juice

1 t chile paste or chile sauce

1 small carrot, finely diced (optional)

Combine dipping sauce ingredients and set aside. Soak the rice vermicelli in hot water until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain. Soften the rice paper in lukewarm water, one sheet at a time and lay on a flat surface. Place the vegetables, herbs and rice vermicelli on the end of the rice paper closest to you. Place the shrimp on top. Roll up the rice paper first up from the bottom, then fold in the two sides and them continue to roll until sealed. Serve with dipping sauce.

*Note: the ingredient measurements in this recipe are estimates because this is truly a recipe one can tweak to their personal tastes. Some might like more vegetables (like cucumber!) or more shrimp, some may want to add rolled egg omelet or meat. Herbs, vegetables, the balance of the dipping sauce can be varied. Enjoy experimenting!

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