Posts tagged ‘lunch’

February 22, 2011

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls

My mom has a fabulous friend named Thuy. Thuy makes really, really good spring rolls. Thuy is also a hairdresser. And she does nails.


This weekend I went home to spend time with the fam and Thuy taught me how to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls, painted my nails and put highlights in my hair! Thanks Thuy.


Now my friends. I will teach YOU how to make the best Vietnamese Spring Rolls you will ever lay your mouth on. It just might be impossible for you to order these at restaurants ever again after you make your own.

Mint, basil, cilantro, spicy chives, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, bean sprouts, and shrimp. All these ingredients are so fresh and crispy, it just might make the most perfect lunch ever.


And the dipping sauce. Oooo that sauce. It was so zesty and flavorful. The perfect pairing for the fresh veggies and shrimp that are all rolled up in rice paper.

I was scared to try it after Thuy told me where fish sauce comes from. Don’t Google it – you will regret it. Don’t smell it either. Just know that it tastes good and use it.

Boil your shrimp and toss them in ice water to stop the cooking and create the crunch factor.


Slice the shrimp in half.


We also split the lettuce down the middle so that it laid flat inside the roll.


Rice noodles are also traditionally added to these rolls. I opted out this time because the noodles are filling and frankly, I needed to to save room so I could eat more of spring rolls.

Shrimp Spring Rolls

makes approximately 12 rolls


24 shrimp, split length-wise

1/2 cucumber, julienned

1 carrot, julienned or grated

2 cups bean sprouts

1 bunch mint

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch basil

1 bunch spicy chives

6-8 leaves lettuce, split down the middle – romaine or red leaf

10-12 sheets rice paper


Boil a pot of water. Add the shrimp and boil for 2-3 minutes, until pink. Pour into an ice bath. Remove the tail and halve the shrimp.

Wet your rice paper. Layer on the veggies. Typically, lettuce is first then the herbs – stems and all. Then add the cucumber and carrot. Top it off with your halved shrimp pieces and roll it up.

Dipping Sauce

6 servings


2-3 cloves of garlic

1 small jalapeno

1/4 cup lime juice

2-3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 + tablespoon cup fish sauce


Mash garlic and jalapeño together with mortar and pestle. Add sugar. Pour in fish sauce and mix.


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


January 4, 2011

Fennel Frittata

Growing up, I always thought that a Frittata was a scrumptious breakfast food. Eggs, assorted veggies, and sometimes some bacon or ham–you have to admit, together they scream “Eat me for breakfast!”


It wasn’t until I spent a semester living in Tuscany with a darling older Italian couple, that my Frittata worldview changed drastically. Many nights, I would trek up the 6 flights of stairs and at about the 5th floor (yes, at this point I was getting terribly winded…I blame it on the pasta) heavenly baked goodness would start filling the air. Yep, you guessed it, it was fritatta night.


Fennel: Don't forget to cut the core out of the bottom (its the tough part)

Flora, my homestay mom, absolutely adored fennel, which is called finocchio in Italian. For the first month or so, there would always be this white-ish onion-looking thing on my plate and all I knew it as was finocchio. It was the bomb. It wasn’t until my Italian class established a mastery of introductions and present tense verbs that I started learning fruits and vegetables, and  I could finally translate finocchio into fennel.

Now back to Frittatas…Flora would make hers with all fennel, but sometimes she would use either zucchini or potatoes, and top generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese mmmm…excuse me while I go buy a plane ticket to Italy really quick). The moral of the story is that frittatas are so simple and tasty they are good for any meal of the day, not just breakfast.

This is what you will need: eggs, vegetables, meat (optional)

This is what we used (get creative!): fennel, onion, crimini mushrooms, bell pepper, spinach, yellow chedder & white chedder cheeses, bacon, eggs, milk, salt and pepper.


(Serves ~4)

There's lots of flavors layered in there

  • Thinly slice a small potato, chop half a fennel bulb (cored), dice half an onion, dice half a green bell pepper, slice 6-8 crimini mushrooms. Set aside.
  • In a medium cast iron skillet, cook 3 strips of bacon until desired crispiness (its easier to crumble if it’s crispy). Drain most of the bacon fat. Add in the potatoes and fennel to sauté for a few minutes, stirring to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. Add in the rest of the vegetables to sauté for a few more minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine 8 eggs with 1/3 cup milk, 1/2 cup shredded cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the sautéed vegetables in the skillet so that they are evenly distributed. Add a handful of fresh spinach and pour the egg mixture on top. Cook on the stovetop for 5-7 minutes on medium heat.

    Batter up!

  • Transfer the skillet to the top rack of a 400 degree oven and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until the egg mixture looks cooked.
  • Add another handful of shredded cheese to the top of the frittata, turn the oven on Broil, and cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!





Get crafty and top with avocado (you won't regret it)












From the Little Yellow Kitchen