Last weekend, my mother made a dish that she learned from one of her friends using vietnamese rice paper wrappers. It was the first time she used these wrappers and the amazing thing is that you only need to submerge in hot water for a few seconds and it becomes transparent, soft and ready to use. My mother's recipes tend to be guestimated, the quantities for each ingredient are more or less accurate. So, adjust the ingredients according to your liking or create your own fillings.
Preparation + Wrapping Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
3 oz. wood ear fungus and/or cloud ear fungus
1 lb cabbage, julienned
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
100g very thin, round rice noodles (vermicelli)
3-4 tbsp soy sauce
1 package rice paper wrappers (bahn trang)
1. If using dried fungus, soak wood ear fungus and/or cloud ear fungus in warm water for 15 mins. Drain and change water. Soak for 15 more minutes until soft. Rinse in cold water and cut fungus into julienne.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook rice noodles for a minute. Drain and soak in cold water.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook cabbage and celery until soft. Stir occasionally.
4. Add in fungus and shiitake mushrooms. Cook for a minute. Stir in the rice noodle and adjust seasoning with soy sauce.
5. Transfer fillings into a large bowl.
6. Prepare a large bowl of hot water to soften the rice paper wrappers, water should be slightly unconfortable to the touch.
7. Submerge one dry wrapper in water completely and wait until it softens. Depending on the temperature, it can be as fast as 5 seconds or 30 seconds to become soft and transparent. Don't worry if you broke the first few wrappers.
8. Transfer wrapper to a tray. Put filling at the edge of the wrapper.
9. Gently roll the filling until past halfway.
10. Fold in the sides and roll it towards the end. Repeat the same procedure.