This dish is a finger-food dish. It is naturally healthy, consisting of a multitude of fresh fragrant herbs (several varieties of mint), romaine lettuce, bean sprouts, and pickled leeks for vegetables, rice paper for carb intake, and fish for protein.
Cá Hấp Cuốn Bánh Tráng (Steamed fish rolled with Rice Paper)
· 2 Cod or Mahi Mahi fillets (you can substitute this for any tougher meat fish fillets, I would, for example, not recommend tilapia or catfish because the meat melts in your mouth)
· A pinch of salt and black pepper
· An abundance of romaine lettuce, cut in half, bean sprouts, various Vietnamese mint leaves, and pickled leek
· A steamer (for a makeshift steamer, use a big pot, fill it with 1.5 inches of water, place a ceramic bowl upside down inside the pot and the plate with the fish ready to be steamed on top of the bowl)
· Rice paper
· 1 cup of Chopped green onions
· ½ cup of crushed peanuts
· Olive oil (or canola oil)
· For the mắm nêm (salted and fermented fish) dipping sauce: mince ½ cup fresh pineapple; puree a 6 inch stalk of lemongrass; in a pot, dissolve 1/3 cup water and 1 tbsp sugar, and let cool; mix all ingredients together, adding ½ a lime’s worth of lime juice and mắm nêm concentrate (this can be bought in bottle form in Vietnamese Supermarkets); stir and add rooster chili paste as desired.
*If you cannot eat the mắm nêm (which I will admit has a high sodium concentration), replace this dipping sauce with the fish sauce dipping sauce. To prepare this sauce, use 2 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tbsp water, 1.5 tbsp sugar, and mix until dissolve. Add 6-7 squirts of fish sauce and mix well. Add rooster chili paste as desired.
· Clean and paper-towel dry the fish fillets. Rub lightly with the salt and pepper.
· Steam the fish for 15 minutes on medium-low heat after the water boils.
· In a bowl, put the chopped green onions and 1 tsp of olive oil. Mix well so that the onion is coated in oil. Microwave this for 1 minute.
· Take the fish out of the steamer. Freely spread the onion on top of the fish and top it off with the crushed peanuts.
· To eat, dip the rice paper thoroughly but quickly in a bowl of warm-hot water and place on a plate. In the top middle of the rice paper, add the lettuce and herbs, and fish, and roll the rice paper, folding in the sides, tightly. Then, dip this roll into the sauce and enjoy!