VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS

    These delightful spring rolls were introduced to me by my wonderful dentist, Quynhchi N. Van Lang, who came to my kitchen to demonstrate. Her hands, adept at delicate surgery created spring rolls that were a work of art. Mine are a work in progress.

    The term crudite came to mind over and over as I tried to emulate Quynhchi's deft workmanship. These rolls are not cooked and probably have zero to a very few calories, while being very filling.

    Have prepared:
    Rice Stick Noodles - cook noodles for a few minutes in boiling water until tender (a few minutes)

    Yam or sweet potato, (steamed and juliened)
    Raw carrots, ( juliened)
    Black fungus mushrooms (soaked in water and finely sliced)
    Jicama (shredded)
    Green leaf lettuce (in fairly large leaves)
    Bean sprouts (raw)
    Cilantro (raw, leaves removed from the stems)
    Mint leaves ( removed from stems)

    Rice skins (these come from the Chinese grocery store in small and large sizes, the larger size is easier for awkward hands to handle)

    Have a bowl of hot water available for dipping the rice skins

    *******************

    Dip each rice spring roll skin into the hot water

    Working quickly:
    Place lettuce leaf at the edge of the circle nearest you. Add yam, carrot, mushroom shreds, rice noodles, jicama,( and whatever you choose like bean sprouts, etc. take care not to use watery ingredients like cucumber or tomato). Fold the two sides toward the inside of the roll. Roll away from you once. Add three cilantro leaves. Roll again. Add mint leaf (here you can add dipping sauce inside the roll).

    Serve
    (To keep for a few hours, wrap tightly with plastic wrap)

    DIPPING SAUCES

    So many choices:
    Quynhchi's favorite is Hoisin and Peanut Butter: Equal parts of hoisin sauce (not Mandarin) and peanut butter
    Mix the two over heat to a smooth consistency

    Another simple one:
    Soy, garlic and ginger sauce
    Soy sauce
    Minced garlic and ginger root
    Spicy peanut sauce from The Greeens Cook Book