Spring rolls, also known as egg rolls, are deep-fried rolls of goodness that are often made with meat & accompanied by a sweet & sour sauce. However, the Vietnamese adapted the Chinese Spring Roll a bit differently & pair their rolls with fish sauce. Fish sauce is absolutely essential in Vietnamese cuisine & can found in nearly every recipe–even dessert, I kid you not–the way soy sauce can be found in many other Asian cuisines. Spring Rolls are not to be confused with Summer Rolls, which are also called Salad Rolls. If you’re on the Southern Hemisphere or in an area that is still experiencing summer, try a Veggie Summer Roll recipe or a Baked Cod Summer Roll. These are perfect for the trending Meatless Mondays & very filling. Cheap, efficient, fresh, what’s not to love?
But it’s not summer in Boston, so I can’t appreciate a Summer Roll in this climate as much as I would in the summer. I need something warm & in a bowl, so I made Bun Cha Gio Chay: Vietnamese Noodles with Vegan Spring Rolls. It’s a bit time consuming, but well worth it, especially when you’ve made extra spring rolls you can freeze & enjoy at a later time. This recipe is excellent for autumn – freshly boiled rice vermicelli, fresh herbs & vegetables, & deliciously hearty spring rolls. I’ve made this recipe vegan friendly, I don’t yet have a vegan fish sauce available, but you can try out Vegan Miam’s Brilliant Fish Sauce. I like that she used pineapple juice, but the key component to making a vegan fish sauce with a tang is vinegar, which wasn’t used in Rika’s recipe. I’d recommend adding vinegar, especially because fish sauce is sweet, tangy, & pungent.