Friday, December 19, 2008

Bun bo hue and Guong - January 16th, 2008

According to Wiki, the proper name for guong is 'gỏi cuốn'.

This particular weekend, my aunt decided that our weekly lunch and dinner get together would be held at her place. She was preparing guong and bun bo hue.
I believe that this was the first time my aunt brought out these pink guong plates.. lol. I don't know what it's called. It's pretty much a plastic strainer that was flattened. What is it used for, you ask? Well to make these summer rolls, you need to soften the rice paper. Now if you're serving a lot of people, like we were here, you can soften a lot of them and place them on the pink plate things, to make it easier for people to start the wrapping process. We usually just have a couple of deeper plates of really warm water/hot water at the table to share... but I like this way better, because it saves table space.

Our fillings were some sort of noodle stir fry, vermicelli noodles, shrimp, lettuce, mint, thai basil, bean sprouts and some sort of herb that look like the spades on playing cards, but smelt like fish. Yeah. Weird... I know, but people like it! No, not I, but other people. Anyway, here are the steps to wrapping your very own summer roll. Who needs to order these in restaurants, when it's THIS easy to make at home?

Step 1:
You'll need to get your fillings prepared. A stir fry of some sort with noodles and meat, slices of meat, vietnamese sausage (the sweet one that is kind of bright pink), lettuce, thai basil, mint leaves, some fish sauce dipping sauce (it's called nuoc cham), and really, anything you want.

Step 2:
Boil some water in a pan of some sort. It will make it easier when you soften up the rice paper.

Step 3:
Take a rice paper and dunk it into the hot water. As soon as the hot water touches the rice paper, it will soften. Make sure the whole rice paper is softened... but don't let it soak for longer than 5 secs. Place your ready to eat rice paper on a plate or on these pink plate things for wrapping.

Step 4:
Start piling your fillings on one side of the rice roll, in a relative rectangular area. It will help when you're wrapping it. If you want to have an easier time wrapping your summer roll, I suggest you don't fill it too much, because it'll probablt rip on you.

Step 5:
Once you have the filling you want in your summer roll (don't worry, if you wanted more things, you can just make more!), take the end closest to the filling and fold it over your filling.

Step 6:
Fold in the sides of the rice paper.

Step 7:
Roll everything relatively tightly. Tada! This beautifully wrapped one is mine.

Step 8 & 9:
Repeat until you have three or four and then serve with nuoc nam. You should make a couple at a time, because when you eat these, they dissapear really quickly. Dip and eat, then repeat.

I thought this was our lunch, even though my mom told me that my aunt was making bun bo hue, too. I didn't see the huge pot when we were there, so I forced myself to eat the first two rolls I made. You see, I'm usually not a fan of these summer rolls. I was hungry and I thought that this was all we were having for lunch, so I had to fill up. That wasn't too hard after the first two rolls I made. Watching other people wolf theirs down also made me hungrier. Heh. By the time I was on my fourth roll, my aunt told us to stop making them because the bun bo hue was almost ready. Everyone's expression said the same thing: "What? More food?" I guess I wasn't the only one who thought that guong was lunch.

The pot was hiding in the backyard on the burner the whole time. Silly pot of bun bo hue. You can't hide forever! My uncle brought the pot into the kitchen and turned on the burner to let it simmer.

My aunt was making the thick noodles in the meanwhile. The toppings to bun bo hue were: congealed cubes of pig's blood, slices of beef brisket, processed/mystery meat and tendons. The other toppings included onions, green onions and cilantro.

I was really full at this point and couldn't eat much more. But when I had a taste of the soup, my stomach felt half full/empty. Is that a bad thing? I grabbed a small bowl and slurped it all down. Man, I remember the soup to be a bit sweeter. It reminded me of chinatown's pho. The sweet stuff. It wasn't as sweet as theirs and it was definitely an awesome pot of soup.

(Update: BAH! I found out that I already blogged about this... grrr... I had a feeling that I already did. When I was writing this out, I was wondering how I was remembering so much of it.. lol)

~ Christine

1 comment:

  1. I can totally eat those rolls (just without the sausage/meat part)!


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