«Bûn Ta» restaurant on Nam Ky Khi Nghia in Ho Chi Minh City serves Vietnamese delicacies – «cru» or «cuit». Upon his visit to the eatery Hektor Maille would have definitely been rated as the cooked.
In Vietnamese cuisine, herbs play an absolutely pivotal role. All manner of herbs are often brought to the table, raw, and added to the food dish at the very last moment. These Summer Rolls «Do It Yourself» are an especially wonderful way to savour the aroma of various herbs. Functioning, as these rolls do, to a certain extent as «building blocks», they are served at the table according to the person's mood and desire – just the right refreshment for secret agent Hektor Maille, who arrived in Saigon on a warm and warm and rainy eveneing after a long and tedious cross-country journey through Indo-China.
One can serve these rolls as a starter or as a main course (depending on the quantity) on a hot summer evening. One, of course, has a variety of ingredients to choose from, for the filling. We suggest a relatively classical set, which is served in a similar form also in Vietnamese restaurants. Here are the alternatives that come into question: meat or chicken or turkey, or even raw fish of Sushi quality, tofu, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, sour or sweet green mango, asparagus, radish, lollo, lettuce, frisee, soy shoots, radish shoots, Perilla leaves, rice noodles, Japanese somen, etc.
In addition to all the aromatic considerations, it is important to ensure that the set does not contain too many hard-textured ingredients (like, for instance, carrot pieces), which can make the roll hard. It is also important to ensure that the various ingredients are nicely dry when they come to the table – otherwise the rolls might just become somewhat slippery or watery.
1 pinch salt
300 g porc stomach, with fat
1 small gherkin of about 200 g
2 carrots of about 100 g each
1 head lettuce
150 g mung bean sprouts
8 shrimps, cooked and peeled
100 g glass noodles
50 g coriander green
50 g saw tooth coriander
50 g vietnamese coriander
poss. 50 g mint
poss. 50 g sweet Thai-basil (Bai horapa)
100 g spring onions
50 g peanuts, roasted and peeled
16 (or more) sheets rice paper
Nuoc Mam Cham - this sauce, made essentially from fish sauce and lime juice, is arguably the national sauce of Vietnam. It is served at almost every meal and can be found in innumerable forms.
One should take care not to put too much filling on the leaf of rice paper – because that can make it hard to turn it into a roll.
More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:
First Publication: 18-3-2010
Modifications: 25-1-2011, 19-6-2011, 15-11-2011, 14-12-2011