Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fresh Spring Rolls with Pork & Shrimp

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Yesterday marked the first day of the Vietnamese New Year!  Yes, many of you may have heard of Chinese New Year - did you know that many other Asian cultures celebrate the same Lunar calendar day as their official new year day, such as Koreans and Vietnamese people as well?  The celebration goes on for about 15 days, or until the next full moon - about Feb. 6th this year....this year is the year of the dragon, a very exciting year promising luck and prosperity.  Many other prosperous people born in the year of the dragon include former US President Bill Clinton, my husband's celebrity crush Reese Witherspoon, and artist Salvadore Dali.
My favorite ever rice paper roll fillers include shrimp and pork shoulder that has been poached in water.  It's what I grew up eating, so it is quite nostalgic for me to make in my own home.

Once you pull the pork out of the water, let it cool, then remove the fat.  Then slice.  I can't tell you how much I love this!  If you love pulled pork or any braised pork, this simple method of preparing pork shoulder is so deilcious just dipped in fish sauce dip!
You can supplement with any herb or veggie filling.  I love cucumbers, mint, and shredded carrots.

  1. Fill a large pot with hot water.  Season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Heat over high heat to boiling.
  2. When you see big bubbles to signify boiling water, add the pork shoulder.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer for 1 hour. 
  3. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of shrimp to a boil.  Add the shrimp to the small saucepan, cover with just enough water, then heat over high heat to a boil.
  4. Shut off the water.  Peel shrimp for rice paper rolls.
  5. Pull the pork out, discard the fat, and slice or shred the meat when cool.
  6. Moisten a sheet of dried rice paper with warm water.
  7. Top with your choice of ingredients, then fold in the sides.  Roll away, then dip in sauce to enjoy!

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