These Vegetable Wraps in Vietnamese Rice Papers are dedicated to my vegetarian friends who have asked me numerous times to make more Asian-inspired recipes using greens, for weeknights. And because I’m serving this for dinner this Lenten Friday when we do no-meat meals, then there was no better time than to do this on the blog today.
If you need a fast, meatless, filling family meal then this is perfect! First, check to see what vegetables you have around. Or if you’re coming back from the market, I’m sure you have most of these ingredients already in your basket. I had these greens conveniently available. So it was a no-brainer to put them together. It took less time to chop these all up and stir fry them, than it was to write down this blog post. That’s how quick it was to make.
Gather the chopped green beans, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. This is a very user-friendly recipe that any beginner cook can do. Pour and stir fry in the skillet. Cook the vegetables quickly. Inhale the unique, interesting Asian aromas of fish sauce combined with fresh ginger that will immediately come from the sizzling skillet. Add the slinky, slim transparent noodles and crunchy peanuts for a great mix. Wrap it all up in paper-thin Vietnamese rice wrappers. And to make it really exciting, serve side dipping sauces that are fiery, sweet and salty. Plate it. Now here comes the best part … dinner is done!
Vegetable Wraps in Vietnamese Paper
- 12 pieces Vietnamese rice wrappers or 'banh trang' pre-soaked in water for 30 seconds before wrapping
- 3.5 ounces (100 gm) Chinese vermicelli transparent noodles or 'sotanghon' soaked in room temperature water for 20 minutes to soften
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
- 1 whole white onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or peel, slice 1/2 inch of a fresh ginger, chop and mince
- 2 Tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
- 2 whole potatoes peeled, chopped, about 2 cups
- 1 cup chopped carrots cut into 1/8-inch cubes
- 1 cup sliced green beans stems trimmed: cut into 1-inch length pieces
- 3 cups sliced cabbage shredded and sliced into 1-inch length slivers
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
- 2 stalks scallions chopped, for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons patis (fish sauce) for dipping sauce on the side
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar for dipping sauce on the side
- 1/4 cup sweet-sour chili sauce (bottled) for dipping sauce on the side
- for serving: boiled jasmine white rice
- Pre-soak the transparent noodles in a bowl of water, for 8 to 10 minutes (not longer). When soft enough, drain the water and set aside on a colander for mixing in stir fry later. (Note: the noodles are long when softened, do not cut them. Be patient and try to mix them into the stir fry later using a pasta fork .)
- In a large skillet or wok, over medium high heat, add the cooking oil. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger for 1 to 2 minutes, till onions get transparent. Add the fish sauce or Filipino “patis”.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the skillet. Cook till soft for about 8 minutes.
- Then add the green beans and the drained, pre-soaked transparent noodles. Mix the long transparent noodles or "sotanghon" well. Allow the beans and noodles to cook and soften for about 5 minutes.
- Add the peanuts and cabbage to the rest in the skillet. The cabbage will soften in 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let the vegetable mixture cool slightly for a minute or 2 for easier handling.
- To assemble the wraps : Pre-soak the Vietnamese rice wrappers in a bowl of water. Soak each wrapper for 30 seconds to soften. Soak them in batches of 2 or 3 at a time. Do not soak longer than this or they get gloppy and can’t be used. Take out the wrapper using both hands and spread on a platter. Place about 2 tablespoons of the stir-fried vegetables in the center of the wrapper. Wrap like you would a burrito. Lift the edge closest to you and cover it over the center where the vegetables are. Tuck the left and right sides. Roll the wrapped vegetables away from you. Arrange on a platter, tucking the edges inside within the plate, so the filling does not fall out. Serve warm or chilled with dipping sauces of fish sauce combined with sugar, a spicy sweet sour chili sauce and boiled jasmine white rice.
- Cook’s comments: Vietnamese rice paper wrappers are called ‘banh trang’ and can be found in Asian markets or major groceries. They are staples in Vietnamese food. They are thin, translucent, and average about the size of a tortilla wrap. They’re affordable and best, have zero calories. You can try making different kinds of wraps with them and use a variety of fillings – meat, seafood or vegetables in season.
- Recipe Notes: Dipping sauces served on the side are essential to most Asian and Filipino dishes. They give everyone a variety of flavor choices to add to the dish. I usually make my own sweet sour sauce, but for this meal which I had to put together quickly, I opted for the ready-made bottled spicy sauce available in Asian groceries.
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Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods or brands of ingredients used.