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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).

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Here are the noodles soaking in just boiled water.

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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.

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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.

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