Did you guys have a good one? We had a big ol’ Vietnamese eating and drinking party on Saturday. According to Mike, these parties are called “nhậu.” Basically a bunch of people get together, drink and consume massive amounts of beer snacks. It’s kind of like going to an izakaya in Japan, or maybe heading to the bar for happy hour, only we did it at home since there’s no such thing as a Vietnamese bar around here.
Funny fact about that: almost all of the Vietnamese restaurants around here are unlicensed because some Vietnamese people get angry when they drink. Just so we’re clear, I have no idea if any of this is true, but considering this theory comes from Mike–who actually is Vietnamese–I’ll take his word for it. Plus, there’s this pretty crazy video of some girls throwing down in a pho restaurant that kinda sorta supports his hypothesis. No word on if alcohol was served there or not.
Anyway, we had a relatively tame night filled with our own version of nhậu food. These rolls definitely weren’t on the menu. They’re so so far from the traditional idea of salad rolls that I think my Vietnamese Food Lovers Club card would have been revoked if I even mentioned them. They are delicious though and a quick and easy dinner for those of you who are still melting at the thought of turning on the oven in the August heat.
- 12 round rice paper wrappers
- 6 smoked salmon slices
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 2-3 cups raw sprouts or cooked vermicelli
- 1 english cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
- miso sesame dressing or fish sauce vinaigrette, to dip
Take a rice paper wrapper and completely submerge it in a bowl of hot tap water for 10-15 seconds. Place the wrapper on a plate or cutting board – it’ll continue to soften as your assembling your roll. Add fillings as desired: avocado, smoked salmon, cucumbers, sprouts or noodles. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper up over the filling, hold the fold in place, fold in the sides and roll. Repeat as needed. Dip in the miso sesame dressing or fish sauce vinaigrette and enjoy!
Miso Sesame Dressing
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kewpie mayo
- pinch of sugar
Use a mortar and pestle to crush the sesame seeds. Stir everything together, taste and adjust as needed.