A couple of weeks ago I was going through my freezer inventory (I finally wrote up a list and keep a clipboard on the chest freezer!) and picked out a whole rockfish to thaw. I pulled out my neighbor, Andrea Nguyen’s, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen and found her recipe for hand rolls. The first night I made it with the fish, more or less like the recipe said. The tamarind sauce was AMAZING. I used more and more in each roll.
A few nights later I was looking for the next thing to thaw. I had a bavette which is basically skirt steak from El Salchichero. I marinated that in soy, cornstarch, sugar and fish sauce, also from Andrea’s book, grilled it for 3 minutes on each side, sliced it against the grain and divided it between our three plates. I didn’t have all the same ingredients from the fish rolls but I did still have rice paper rounds. I made some more of the tamarind sauce of course. I fried some shallots because everything is better with fried shallots. I had some basil, that was lovely. Chopped up some limes, without the rind this time, I left it on the first round and it was toooo hard to chew.
A third night in the same week I made the same dish with chicken (marinated just like I fixed the beef). And a week later I made the same dish with pork tenderloin. Yes, it is THAT good.
This is my favorite quick dinner now. It works for any guest because it’s an assemble-your-own dinner. I use sriracha, my son doesn’t. And, as things seem to be these days, it’s GLUTEN FREE! ;-)