This is coming to you live from my Bushwick apartment, post Snowpocalypse Juno 2015, an “epic” and “historic” 11 inches of snow! Large snow storms are always entertaining for a number of reasons…
1. SNOW DAY: one of the few things in adult life that is still equally as exciting and fun as when you were a child.
2. They’re never as bad as they make them out to be: news anchors & weather people were saying that we should anticipate 2-3 ft. of snow with “intense” blizzard conditions..the only thing that was “intense” was my Downton Abbey binge.
3. Suddenly everyone becomes a meteorologist: guilty, I’m my father’s daughter.
4. Grocery store frenzy: bread is always the first to get cleared out…I thought everyone was gluten-free?
5. Pantry clean out: by the 7th hour of being stuck in your apartment, people start making anything & everything that’s been in their pantry for months or perhaps years; mac & cheese, angel food cake (guilty), canned soups, waffles.
6. Free time to do ALL THE THINGS (unless you are one of those people that “work from home” & have no excuse to not work on snow days, sorry): READ BOOKS! WATCH MOVIES! THOROUGHLY DEEP CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM! PET YOUR CAT ALOT! BLOG ABOUT VIETNAMESE SUMMER ROLLS THAT YOU MADE 2+ WEEKS AGO!
In case we happen to have another over-dramatizied storm induced snow day & you need something to do to pass the time, I highly recommend stocking up on these goods (which will be easy to find because non of which are bread or ice cream) & making these rolls.
The star to these rolls is the meat, however feel free to opt out of this completely or sub in with some thinly sliced shitakees, beans, or crunchy tofu; grilled shrimp would also work wonderfully here. I found the Vietnamese-style pulled pork recipe over at Garden Betty. It’s a slow cooker recipe that uses more than 2 pounds of pork shoulder; you’ll most definitely have enough to make 17-20 summer rolls AND the Bánh Mì tacos she has it featured with. Also save the yummy pork cooking liquid from the slow cooker, makes a delicious dipping sauce for l8tr.
Second to the pork is the dressed cabbage, carrot, & onion slaw. Shred 1/2 a head of green cabbage, 6 large carrots, and 1 small white onion in a food processor, dress it heavily in a typical summer roll dipping sauce. For the sauce: 1/2 cup fish sauce, 1 cup rice vinegar, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup honey, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 1-2 cloves of garlic minced, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 cup water. The measurements for the sauce are “to taste”, depending on your preference you may want to add more heat or sweetness along the way. Let the dressed carrot, cabbage, & onion slaw hang out in the sauce, drain before adding it to the rolls. Save whatever you drain off & use for serving.
Next you need your rice-y goods; both rice paper discs & rice noodles. Put 3 big handfuls of uncooked rice noodles into boiling water for 6 minutes, drain, and let dry completely. For the rice paper, dip them gently in warm water for about 5 seconds, they’ll start to soften, lay on a flat surface & start constructing!
For construction, place a heaping tbsp of pulled pork in the center of the moist rice paper disc, top with a tbsp of slaw, place 5 rice noodles in a small ball at the 6 o’clock position (imagining the rice paper disc is a clock), fold both left and right sides in. Start rolling up from the bottom near the noodles, before you “seal the deal” slide in a few matchstick cuts of cucumber and a leaf or 2 of mint. This tutorial is great for perfecting your rolling skills; it’s quite easy after a few testers.
Serve 3-4 of these adorable things over a bed of greens, topped with sliced avocado, squeeze of lime, scallions, cilantro, & a handful of salted peanuts. Accompany with small bowls of both the cooking liquid from the pulled pork & the dressing from the slaw, and of course ALL THE SRIRACHA!