Ask Intrepid traveller Susan Everton what were her Vietnam highlights and she’ll tell you she loved cruising Halong Bay, exploring the Old Quarter of Hanoi and overnighting at a Mekong Delta homestay – but her special stand-out event was the Hoi An cooking school…
“If you’re travelling with Intrepid make sure you join in the cooking class in Hoi An. It was fantastic – our teacher had a great sense of humour and we all had so much fun learning to cook Sweet & Sour Chicken Soup, Aubergine Claypot, Fish in Banana Leaf, Spring Rolls and Green Papaya Salad. The best thing is now I get to make these dishes at home and the food reminds me of my special Vietnam moments. Here’s my spring roll recipe that’s a favourite with all my friends.”
Vietnamese spring rolls…
55 g rice vermicelli
8 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
8 large cooked shrimp – peeled, deveined and cut in half
4 g chopped fresh Thai basil or Vietnamese mint
5 g chopped fresh mint leaves
9 g chopped fresh cilantro
2 leaves lettuce, chopped
20 ml fish sauce
60 ml water
30 ml fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
25 g white sugar
3 ml garlic chili sauce
45 ml hoisin sauce
3 g finely chopped peanuts
1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Boil rice vermicelli 3 to 5 minutes, or until al dente, and drain.
2. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for 1 second to soften. Lay wrapper flat. In a row across the center, place 2 shrimp halves, a handful of vermicelli, basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce, leaving about 2 inches uncovered on each side. Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end with the lettuce. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
3. In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce.
4. In another small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce and peanuts.
5. Serve spring rolls with the dipping sauces – fish sauce and hoisin sauce mixtures.
And Susan’s tips – “You can basically substitute the roll fillings for anything you like – chicken or beef strips, capsicum, carrot, bean sprouts etc etc – eat fresh and enjoy!”