After moving into new place with my boo, we invited his sister and husband over for housewarming. We decided to do Vietnamese spring rolls as you just have to prep the ingredients and the sauce leaving the guests to choose and make their own rolls however they want to. I prepped the vegetables (seedless cucumber (so less water comes out), carrots, orange and yellow bell peppers) the day before. We also got some imitation crab meat which I ripped them by hand into strands the day before as well. I saved some of the cucumbers for my side of Korean cold seaweed and cucumber soup. The night before, I took the precooked shrimp package out of the freezer and put them in the fridge.
For the sauce, I prepared three different sauces (peanut, spicy chili pepper and chili oil). The peanut sauce was made with peanut butter, mayo, ground mustard (this was in place of regular mustard as I did not have at the moment but worked well), vinegar and little bit of salt. Spicy chili pepper sauce was made with Korean spicy chili (6 small sized), olive oil, vinegar, canned pineapple juice and anchovy fish sauce. Rest of the juice and diced pineapple I saved them in a bowl for the day after to use in the rolls. Chili oil was made by boiling some oil and pour over Korean red chili pepper, then drain just the oil out.
On the day of, I cut the avocados, placed the shrimp in cold water to finish defrosting, washed the cilantro and let drain. Then I took 5g of dried seaweed and placed in cold water to soak and plump back up. When rehydrating dried seaweed be aware they grow in size so do not think that you are making too little. I would give it at least 30-40 minutes to fully rehydrate and drain out some of the salt. While waiting for the rehydration, I started to boil some water in a pot to cook the thinly cut pork belly slices. These were very thinly cut so they take no time. Added in a few at a time and once cooked put them on the plate next to the washed cilantro.
Afterwards, I started making the cold soup. 3 cups of water, vinegar, bit of salt, and sugar (I used Korean oligodang sugar syrup which tends to be a bit healthier). You will need to add a quite a bit of vinegar where when you taste it you are like woo I taste that vinegar because you will add some ice into it and ingredients which will lessen that potent taste and might not taste it if you do not make it a bit stronger in the beginning. You can always add more vinegar while tasting till you get it right if you are scared of adding too much in the beginning. The rehydrated seaweed I tossed in a bit of sesame oil first before adding it in. Then I added in the prepped cucumber from the day before. Mixed them together and let it chill in the fridge for a bit before the guests arrived. Once they arrived took it out and placed some ice before serving.
The day before I also made some chocolate chip banana nut bread for dessert the day of. Preheat the oven at 350F. Used 4 very ripe bananas, 2 cups of flour, 1.5 tsp of baking soda, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil (just used olive oil which is what I had), 1 cup of chocolate chips, 1 cup of variety of nuts, and 1tsp of vanilla extract divided batter into two loaf pans baked at 350F for 35-45 minutes. It came out moist and not too sweet. I did not add sugar which was written in the original recipe and used chocolate chips for that hint of sweetness in addition to the natural sweetness from the ripe bananas.
On top of that we had some champagne and extra cake brought by his sister and her husband to celebrate move in as well early birthday for my boo which is coming up in 3 weeks! Tune in next week for another fun adventure!