Fresh Vietnamese Summer Rolls

After every vacation on the way home from the airport, my family ate at this tiny hole in the Vietnamese restaurant (the only Vietnamese restaurant even remotely close to us). We ate nothing but phở and fried spring rolls. My sense of Vietnamese cuisine was, thus, rather limited. 
B’s mom is an expert in Vietnamese cooking. For B, taking me home was a big deal. A ginormous deal. Well, when that day came, she cooked up a storm for me. B told me his mom took great pride in her food, so my job was to eat a lot and compliment her on everything. I replied, “I think I can do that.”
According to my guys friends, they said meeting the parents was indeed a big moment and I should be nervous. I told them, I was looking forward to eating non dorm food. Clearly, my priorities were in order.

His family tried to show me the techniques of wrapping summer rolls. However, I like to put a lot of stuff and it didn’t fit very well, so they were hideous. His mom’s were beautiful, and she rolled one after another for me. I ate them all of them like a goldfish and was very full.

(This was before I found out these were appetizers and there were 3 more courses of food).

Anyways, recently I wanted to make some on my own since I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. They’re not hard to make, but I still can’t resist overfilling them, so they’re still as hideous as when I tried the first time years ago! 
Recipe adapted from Not Enough Cinnamon.

rice wrappers
cooked shrimp, peeled
fresh mint leaves
lettuce leaves
basil leaves
1 cup cooked rice vermicelli, cold
fresh bean sprouts (optional)

4 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp grated carrots

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the plate. Put shrimp, lettuce, vermicelli, and herbs. To roll, fold sides inward, then tightly roll the rice paper. You have your completed summer roll! Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Combine all ingredients for sauce (may microwave sauce so sugar dissolved more easily). Dip summer rolls in sauce and enjoy!

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