It all started with a small goat Brie, some sardines, and a frozen piece of baguette. Ok, a kinda French snack-like dinner. But I needed some vegetable dish, the weather had turned warm and nearly balmy, and as I was traipsing through the produce section, I ran into Angela, a Vietnamese cashier at the Berkeley Bowl and suddenly I was gathering ingredients for Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

Following her guidance, I got carrot, shiitake, and a Chinese green similar to Bok Choy. Fortunately at home I still had galettes de riz and rice noodles from a previous effort into Viet cooking (epic fail on the sauce for that, btw).


Here are the noodles soaking in just boiled water.


And the ingredients, which included the noodles, something like Bok Choy, slivers of carrot, silken tofu, green onion, mint, and some toasted almonds. I laid out my slimy rice paper round, laid the ingredients in, and drizzled a small bit of toasted sesame oil over it, then rolled them up.

Rolled them up poorly. Yeah, I’ll have to get better. Rolling shouldn’t be difficult, but I found I was afraid of tearing the seemingly fragile sheets. If the weather continues warm like this, simple and healthy fresh spring rolls of fresh vegetables and shrimp are a no-brainer.


The dipping sauce was lime juice, white vinegar, sugar, and fish sauce, with some minced garlic. I reduced the fish sauce amount by half. Wifey thought it was ‘ok’ but preferred the ponzu sauce.

To make it ‘French’, the original idea in the first place, I had some thawed baguette (fail: turned into dry toast which worked for me but not for the wife) along with a small goat Brie, as well as the sangria from two days before at the garage sale, even more nicely blended.

In the end, it all worked–though I need to work on my wrapping skills. “Just pretend you’re rolling a joint“, my wife suggested. Yeah, right.