We made fresh summer rolls (gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese) this week that feature edible rice paper for the wrapper. Students prepared lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, mint, basil, cilantro, tofu, and calendula petals for the filling, then dipped the wrappers in water to rehydrate them before rolling. We had some rice noodles tossed in sesame oil as a base, and each of us was able to roll and eat three to four rolls! Some were skeptical of the traditional nước mắm dipping sauce until they tasted it. Then they couldn’t get enough of the salty, sweet, acidic condiment.
Technical difficulties prevented us from listening to Vietnamese rock band Bức Tường, but luckily our chefs happen to be excellent conversationalists. After school is one of our favorite times with the kids because they are so witty, relaxed, and enthusiastic about the work.