My honeymoon in Vietnam was not traditional in the sense that we whisked off the day after our wedding, with blazing hangovers, and had the most romantic getaway known to man (and wife). There were no lazy days spent romping in bed, no late boozy dinners followed by walks on the beach and skinny dipping by the moonlight. In fact, much of our honeymoon was not terribly romantic at all.
You see, a demanding little backpacker who partied all night, and kept us awake for hours, crashed our honeymoon.
Our Vietnamese adventure was punctuated by nap times and early nights.
Our thunder was stolen by this stow away, whom the locals all treated with the reverence of Brad Pitt. They followed us around town just trying to glimpse or maybe touch this little blond haired, blue-eyed creature. It felt as though we were on tour with One Direction.
All of this can be forgiven, however, because that little stow away was our 9-month old son and more than anything, this Vietnamese adventure was when my husband and my son first truly bonded.
You may think that 9 months old is very late for this, but when you only get 5 days paternity leave, and work very long hours, it’s hard to truly get the time required to fall head over heels in love with someone who doesn’t really care for anyone other than the Mama Milk Truck.
It’s not easy for Dads, as in our case, or whoever the secondary carer is in your home. All the best moments of the day, the cuddles and giggles, cuteness and silliness are often used up by the time they arrived home for the day, at the tail end of the witching hour, hopefully just in time to steal a few precious moments before bed.
I loved having our child at our wedding, and the honeymoon timing ended up being perfect for us. When could be better to fall in madly love than on a 6 week holiday celebrating our nuptials?
Nothing to worry about but when is the next the Happy Hour, mealtime, naptime, beach play or adventure. No stress about everyday mundanity, only the long days of relaxing to fill our minds.
Whenever I eat these Rice Paper Rolls I’m reminded of this beautiful family time, so I thought it was a perfect way for us to start our relationship here on Mouths of Mums.
- 1/2 BBQ chicken, or duck for extra yum, shredded
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 2 spring onions, julienned
- 1/2 packet bean shoots
- 1 good handful of mint leaves
- 1 good handful of coriander leaves
- Crushed peanuts
- 100g vermicelli, I prefer green bean vermicelli but simple rice is fine
- 1 packet of rice paper
- 2 tablespoons ketcup manis (sweet soy)
- 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
Nuoc cham Vietnamese dipping sauce (optional)
- 60ml (1/4 cup) water
- 60ml (1/4 cup) fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or lemons)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped palm sugar
- 1/2 stem lemon grass, pale section only, finely chopped
- 2 long fresh red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
Set yourself up a workstation so everything you need is at hand. Fill a baking tray with hot water, not scalding, just hot, and dip your rice paper in for 5 seconds. Once upon a time I thought you had to leave it in until it was totally pliable and wet, but you don’t at all. In fact, it still feels quite cardboard-y after 5 seconds but it gets more pliable as it sits, and it’s way more manageable.
Smear a small amount of your sauce on the bottom and then add a little bit of your chicken or duck, then your vegetables, then your herbs, bean shoots and top it with some noodles. Sprinkle some nuts on top and fold the bottom of your rice paper up, creating a semi-circle. Fold in the sides, one at a time and then simple roll the rest into a neat cigar. Theoretically.
Call the first one a practice one, ok? Repeat, and repeat and repeat, until you’re bored or your ingredients are gone.
If your first one looks dodgerama, maybe try a little less filling…You’ll be a professional in no time.
For the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a jug and stir until the sugar dissolves.
This will really set your rolls off!