Serving
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Crystal Rolls - Vegetarian
Vietnam
  -   Bi Cuôn Chay
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
25-30  
***
2 hr  
Yes
These popular rolls are a delicious appetizer. In Vietnam, diners will wrap them in a lettuce leaf along with herbs and cucumber, then eat them with a dip.






12
----
8
4
1/2
4
3
6
3
6
----




----
1/2
1
2
oz
---
oz

oz
oz
oz
oz
oz
oz
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c

Rice Papers (1)
-- Stuffing
Rice Vermicelli (2)
Mushroom dry black
Black Fungus (3)
Pickled Leeks (4)
Dill Pickles
Bamboo Shoots
Carrot
Pineapple
-- Garnishes
Lettuce Leaves
Cilantro leaves
Mint Leaves
Cucumber strips
-- Dipping Sauce
Fish Sauce (5)
Garlic
Thai Chili
Make   -   (2 hrs for 28 ea)
  1. Make your dipping sauce: Crush GARLIC and chop very fine. Chop CHILIS fine. Mix both with Fish Sauce (see Note-1).
  2. Boil plenty of Water, let it cool a little and pour over Rice Vermicelli. Let it soak until soft, then drain thoroughly (these aren't as fool-proof as bean threads).
  3. Boil more Water, let cool a little and pour over MUSHROOMS and WOOD EARS. Let soak until soft, about 30 min. Squeeze out thoroughly and slice into narrow matchsticks.
  4. Slice PICKLED LEEKS, DILL PICKLES and BAMBOO SHOOTS into narrow matchsticks.
  5. Shred CARROT fine (a julienning vegetable peeler works well for this.
  6. Lay out a damp cloth napkin on which to work. Put a plate in the sink and run warm water into it. Soak sheets of rice paper in the warm water until pliable (see Note-6), then move to the napkin to work. Do not over-soak You should be able to start another sheet soaking immediately upon transferring one to the towel.
  7. Fill and roll the crystal rolls - see Photo Gallery..
    • IF using 8" round rice paper put a sausage shaped dollop of filling near one edge. Roll the rice paper tightly over filling until half the circle is still flat, then fold the sides over the filling. Continue to roll up tightly.
    • IF using "quadrant" rice papers (quarters of a 12" round), soak two at a time. Lay one out on the napkin then the other the same way but overlapping 3/4" farther up. Put a dab of filling near the curved edge, roll once, fold the edges in and finish rolling.
    Set rolls aside on wax paper or oiled foil to rest.
  8. Arrange on a platter with desired garnishes and serve warm with individual bowls of Dipping Sauce. If you wish (particularly for parties) you can cut the rolls in half diagonally to make twice as many smaller pieces.
NOTES:
  1. Rice Papers / Banh Trang:   these almost transparent rice sheets are available in various sizes at any market that serves a Southeast Asian community.
  2. Rice Vermicelli:   Often called "Rice Stick", Do not confuse these with bean threads which behave differently (but, well, those would work too).
  3. Black Fungus:   Also called "Wood Ears" and other names, these expand greatly when soaked, so use plenty of water. For details see our Black Fungus page.
  4. Pickled Leeks   These are available in jars and resemble elongated pickled cocktail onions. Pickled onions can be used if these are not available.
  5. Fish Sauce:   This clear liquid is as essential to Southeast Asian cuisine as it was to Imperial Rome. If you are unfamiliar with it, see our Fish Sauce - Introduction page.
  6. Soaking:   Different brands of rice paper vary and some do not soften evenly. For instance, in my experience Double Parrot brand is rather uneven while Double Horses brand is quite even but takes longer to soften. If you have uneven paper, lay it out on the towel to start wrapping from the firm edge.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch
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