When a reader’s request for a recipe for spring roll dipping sauce came in, I knew exactly what I wanted to share: my Mom’s handwritten recipe for the sauce.
It’s taken from the recipe book she prepared for me when I had to cook for myself for the first time (summer after freshman year in college). It was a great stroll down the memory lane to see such specific instructions for very simple dishes in that notebook. Also, note the stains on the page…I definitely relied on this recipe book for quite a while
The Vietnamese recipe is in the photo, followed by English translation and our additional notes after the link:
Sauce recipe: (super easy) 3/4 cup of water (use broth from boiling of pork and shrimp for better results) + 4 tbsps hoisin sauce + 2 tbsps vinegar + 2 tsps soy sauce + 1/2 tsp tapioca flour (or corn starch). Mix everything in a bowl.
Place a small sauce pan on the stove, heat 1 tsp of oil, add minced garlic and fry until golden, then pour the above mixture in. Stir briskly with chopsticks until mixture is brought to a boil. Season sauce to taste (should be on the sweet side). If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of water to make it more watery and easier to use for dipping. When served, remember to add crushed peanuts + a pinch of minced garlic & chilli pepper + a pinch of deep fried shallots
* Note: while pouring mixture into the pan, remember to stir briskly like stirring powder baby formula, otherwise flour will clump up and ruin the sauce.
There you have it, the sauce recipe in Vietnamese and English. Now for our own additional notes:
– An immigrant chic way to make a more fragrant, nutty sauce is to add peanut butter to hoisin sauce at a 1:4 – 1:1 ratio.
– This same sauce with or without peanut butter can also be used to with a Hokkien imported dish bò bía (poh pia / spring roll with eggs, jicama, Chinese sausage, and herbs). Instead of pork stock, just use the juice from stir frying jicama.
– The clear stock/stir fry juice can also be added as garnish after the sauce is ladled into individual serving bowls, leaving a nice looking 2 layer sauce. Lamp likes to set things up just so, in order to make a more satisfying mess of them, so making the sauce this way gives him particular relish.
So, how do you make your spring roll dipping sauce? Any other tips and/or embellishments?