When I met my husband 5 years ago he took me to one of his favorite Vietnamese restaurants and we ordered these… They are called crystal rolls, (also known as Vietnamese spring rolls.) They are somewhat like an egg roll, without the fried outer layer and filled with fresh rice noodles, shrimp, and veggies. We moved away from the restaurant a few years ago and one night we were craving these like we do all the time… so we took a gamble and decided to make them at home. We were so pleasantly happy with our homemade crystal rolls we haven’t since ordered them out.
We make these all the time now. My hubby and I have this little system we use… I cook the shrimp and noodles and cut up all the veggies and he assembles and rolls them all up! He has a definite skill to the wrapping of the rolls… so that belongs to him. Mine never look so pretty.
It really is quite fun to make… and super yummy to eat. And by the way… homemade crystal rolls are far better than the ones at that restaurant we used to frequent. You’ll love these! Enjoy.
Vietnamese Crystal Rolls
1 lb. fresh shrimp
1 cucumber, cut into thin, long strips
3 carrots sliced thin, into long strips
1 red pepper, cut into thin long strips
1 head of green lettuce, any kind
1 bunch cilantro
2 green onions, sliced
1 package of Rice vermicelli noodles
Bring a saucepan to a boil on medium heat. Add shrimp and poach for 3-4 minutes until bright pink. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove skins, de-vein. Set aside.
Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Once a rapid boil is reached, add rice vermicelli noodles, cover and immediately remove from heat. Set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.
To assemble rolls, dip single sheets of rice paper into hot water until soft and flexible. (about 1 minute). Allow excess water to drain and quickly place on a plate.
Add a little bit of shrimp, softened noodles, cucumbers, red peppers, cilantro, carrots, onions and lettuce.
Carefully roll closed. Serve with peanut dipping sauce. (We just buy our peanut sauce from our favorite Thai restaurant, but I know there are lots of recipes out there for homemade peanut sauce… do what works for you.)