Servings: 3-4 appetizers, or 2 meals
Prep Time: about 1 hour
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- 1 pound of venison tenderloin or steaks
- half a package (5 ounces) of fine rice sticks/Vietnamese vermicelli rice noodles (It might say “bun giang tay-shoi nho” on it.)
- about 20 raw shrimp, deveined and shells removed
- 2 small persian cucumbers (or mini cucumbers)
- a bunch of mint leaves
- spring roll wrappers (about 14-16)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of Sambal Oelek ground fresh chili paste, or to taste (I think we got ours at Hy-Vee. From Huy Fong Foods, same makers of Sriracha sauce)
- juice of half a large lime, or juice of one small lime
1. We suggest cooking rice noodles at least half an hour before you start assembling the rolls. Rice noodles take a long time to dry. When they’re just cooked, they are too wet to eat and work with.
Cook noodles according to package directions, usually 4-5 minutes in boiling water. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse noodles under cold water. Rice noodles release a starchy substance that need to be washed off. Just run water over the noodles under the faucet and allow to drain at room temperature for at least half and hour. You will notice that the noodles will become dry and sticky.
2. Remove all silver skin and fat from venison. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and then cook venison up to medium.
Boil a pot of water and add shrimp. Boil shrimp until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. You can buy pre-cooked shrimp, but do not buy frozen pre-cooked shrimp. They are watery and tasteless.
3. Cut cucumbers into matchsticks and pick mint leaves from stems. You can even scoop out the seeds in the cucumbers to only eat the crispy part.
We prefer Persian cucumbers because they are more crispy and thin-skinned.
4. Slice shrimp in half lengthwise. Then slice venison thinly against the grain and into small bite size pieces.
Add three pieces of shrimp towards the middle, pink/stripy side down for presentation.
Think dainty burrito.
These can be made ahead of time, but keep them covered so they don't dry out.