These Banh Mi Winter Rolls are my take on a healthy banh mi alternative. They’re made like a traditional Vietnamese summer roll and stuffed with mini lemongrass meatballs, rice vermicelli, and a few vegetables. They’re served with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce and are so delicious.
- 1 recipe Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs (48 meatballs)
- 5 ounces rice vermicelli
- 1 package shimenji mushrooms, or substitute a handful of shiitake mushrooms
- 3 carrots, julienned on a mandolin
- 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 12 stems of cilantro
- 12 small rice paper wrappers
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon each: sriracha and sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon each: fish sauce, soy sauce, grated ginger
- 1 small garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or very finely minced
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Make the recipe for the Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs. Roll into 48 mini meatballs and pan fry over medium-high heat in a little oil until they are dark brown and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 minutes.
- Soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Saute the mushrooms in a little oil until cooked, about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Assemble the winter rolls:
- Fill a large, shallow bowl with hot tap water. Dip one rice paper wrapper in the water and let it soften for about 30 seconds. Lay the wrapper on a flat surface and top with some rice vermicelli, carrots, cabbage, a stem of cilantro, four meatballs, and a few mushrooms.
- Pull one end of the wrapper over the fillings. Fold the sides in then roll up like a burrito. Set aside on parchment paper (they will stick to most other surfaces!) and repeat with the remaining wrappers.
These are best if rolled reasonably close to the time you plan on serving them. If you want to make them ahead of time, this is what I find works best:
Wet a strong paper towel with water, ring out, then roll the winter roll in it. Use one damp paper towel per roll. Place all the paper towel rolled winter rolls into a resealable plastic bag and keep them in your fridge for up to 8 hours. Unwrap (using a little water to loosen the paper towel if it becomes stuck in places) a let them come to room temperature before serving.