Vietnamese Spring Rolls – Pineapple Salad – In Two Ways

by on February 8, 2008

We’re rolling in greens this month! Unfortunately, it’s not the type of green that’s going to pay for our dreadful Visa bill arriving next week. But it is the type of green that’s full of fiber and vitamins to keep us healthy and heart attack free when we do open up the envelope. We’re talking about having red romaine, green romaine, red oak leaf, green leaf and “everything mesculin” lettuce up to our ears! Growing and investing in $3 worth of mixed lettuce, and mesculin mix seeds feeds us throughout the months of January- April.

Every November, we make a wish and then toss a bunch of seeds over our shoulders (like tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain when we were in Rome) into the ground and pretty much just forget about it for the first few weeks. With the help of our sprinklers, this years plentiful rain and a better behaved white dog who doesn’t dig, our forgotten seeds are now exploding with baby lettuce. We’ve gotta start eating them now to help thin out the lettuce patch, so there’s bound to be lot of lettuce dishes to be posted here in the next few months.

It’s now Vietnamese Spring Roll season! Sitting on our counter is a fresh pineapple screaming out to be juiced, eaten or grilled. Lucky for us it’s still in good condition so today it’s going to be a pineapple pork salad for dinner. But when we’re both in hyper spirits, the kitchen kinda goes crazy beyond one dish. With lots of pork, pineapple and garden fresh lettuce, we started rockin’ and rollin’ with fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls. When you’ve got so many left over ingredients, why not roll them up into some fresh Vietnamese Spring rolls for another salad course? The salad is so versatile, especially when you decide to roll them up into the spring/salad/summer rolls (call it what-cha want). For a veggie option, just add more pineapple, some cucumbers for crunch, carrots for color and herbs for flavor pleasure and you’ve got a feast of salad – in two ways.

Growing lettuce is a deal we can’t pass up because some knowing the price of some of these fancy lettuce’s, our diverse little harvest probably produces about a hundred dollars worth every year. We’ve even thought about setting out a table and having a lettuce stand to help pay for some of our heating bills this winter. Any buyers? or maybe we could sell some of our Vietnamese Spring Rolls!

More appetizers that you might enjoy

Pineapple Salad and/or Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe

Yield: Serves 2-4

Total Time: 30 Minutes

This salad is just as tasty with out the pork so it’s perfect for vegetarians! Canned pineapple will work just fine, but if you have access to a fresh pineapple, go for it! Investing in a fresh pineapple adds so much depth of fruity freshness, not to mention plenty of fruit left over for more dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced pork chops or pork shoulder (omit for vegetarian version)
  • 1 can pineapple rings or 1 fresh pineapple, carved & sliced into thin strips.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or grape seed oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons pineapple juice w/ about 2 1″ inch pineapple cubes crushed in juice
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated or crushed ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • mint
  • shredded carrots
  • rice paper sheets for springrolls

Pineapple dressing/dip Ingredients

  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 4 table spoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced pineapple

Directions:

  1. Marinade: In bowl or plastic bag, mix sugar, fish/soy sauce, pineapple juice & crushed pineapple cubes, garlic , ginger and salt. Add pork, let marinade for about 20 minutes. For vegetarian version, us this same mixture to marinade pineapple slices for about 20 minutes.
  2. Make dressingdip. In blender, add garlic, water, grape seed oil, soy sauce, sugar, chili flakes, pineapple juice and minced pineapple. Blend well.
  3. Wash lettuce, herbs, slice cucumbers & carrots.
  4. In hot pan, cook pork on each side for about 1 minute or until cooked. For pineapple, quickly sear each side of pineapple slices for about 30 seconds, or until light brown crust appears. Remove from heat, let cool.
  5. For salad, assemble lettuce , pork, pineapple chunks and toss with dressing.
  6. For fresh springrolls, assemble lettuce, pork, pineapple strips, cucumbers, mint and/or carrots on rice paper for rolling. Click here: SpringRolling 101 for rolling instructions.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nikkipolani February 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Ugh. Heating bills. Don’t remind me. However, your pork pineapple combination (as well as the lettuce, of course!) looks fabulous. What did you choose for the dip?

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2 Lydia February 4, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Oh, such beautiful lettuce!! A sight for sore New England eyes at this time of year. I love the idea of rolling up my salad in a salad roll.

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3 Wandering Chopsticks February 5, 2008 at 12:26 am

Mmm. I could eat that with some mam nem. :)

I’ll buy your lettuce. ;)

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4 Morsels of Memory February 5, 2008 at 1:18 am

I actually think that rolling in salad greens is more fortunate than rolling in greenbacks. Where I live, quality organic vegetables are hard to come by. Do you ship to Hawai’i? ;-)

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5 Peter February 5, 2008 at 2:59 am

These types of greens will keep you living to 100 and I love the rice paper for wraps.

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6 Tempered Woman February 5, 2008 at 7:19 am

Oh how I covet your beautiful greens! I won’t even try and think about how much I spend on those. Not a chance of growing those beauties this time of year here but I must say… there is nothing like lettuce right after it has been plucked and you can still taste the sun in it. YUM!

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7 Matt Wright February 5, 2008 at 7:57 am

This looks fantastic. A great pick-me-up for this time of year. Amazing photography as usual.

You have inspired me to dig out some boring plants from my garden, and plant some veg this year.

Matt

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8 Pixie February 5, 2008 at 8:04 am

How wonderful to be able to grow your own greens! Beautiful salad and loving the wraps.

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9 White on Rice Couple February 5, 2008 at 9:24 am

Nikki- we came up with a simple pineapple dressing/dip to further enhance the pineapple flavors of the salad. Simple & tasty!

Lydia & Tempered Woman – We’ll be making extra salad tonight and eating it for the both of you, including all our blogging buddies living in colder regions. Brrrrrr!!!!!

WC & Morsels – Thanks for supporting us on our potential lettuce sales. When we do start selling, you’re both the first our list.

Peter & Pixie – Rolling salad is fun and different way of eating salad. If you have kids, they feeding them salad this way. They’ll love it!

Matt – Yes, go and grow your veggies! You’ be surprised just how easy some vegetables grow. They taste great too.

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10 dhanggit February 5, 2008 at 9:32 am

growing up from a country where pineapple is in season all year round..i must admit i have not seen something as gorgeous as this.pineapple salad and rolls…we just eat pineapples like that..;fresh.. why havent we thought of doing this?? even without tasting i knew that they taste delectably good!! just from the look of the freshness of of these leaves..how can we go wrong?? i’m lovin it..allow me to be inspired by this recipe! cant wait to try :-)

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11 Christine February 5, 2008 at 9:27 am

If only I lived near you – I’d be that odd stranger rummaging in your garden every morning – in February, no less! :)

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12 LisaRene February 5, 2008 at 11:19 am

Both lettuce cups and wraps are so tactile, I find food more enjoyable when I can “play with it”.

Thank you for the “Know your noodle” post. I just scanned it and bookmarked it for future study. I typically guess which noodles to buy, only to cook them (usually improperly) and realize that they look nothing like what I had at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant :)

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13 White on Rice Couple February 5, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Christine – You are welcome to rummage as much as you like. That’s if you can get past our two 110 lb and 50 puppies!

LisaRene- Your lettuce cups are delicious and fun to play with. Don’t bookmark the KNOW YOUR NOODLE page just yet! We’ve been working on adding new information on all our pages. We’ve got tons of new info and photographs , but have not been able to update those pages. These should have been updated months ago, but we’ve been too busy cooking. Sorry. Keep checking back!

dhanggit – You’re so lucky to have been able to eat fresh pineapple year round. That’s definitely the best way to eat it!

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14 Toni February 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Once again, I must comment on the photography as well as the recipe — outstanding! You make me wish I had thrown some seeds over my shoulder last fall…..My mouth is literally watering as I type this — I want some of those rolls!!

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15 Lori February 5, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Great looking lettuce! I used to grow some lettuce and herbs but about 2 years ago bugs got to be a problem. Is there anything you folks like to use to control the pests?

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16 White on Rice Couple February 5, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Toni – It might be a little late for sowing lettuce seeds, but it’s just the beginning of the sowing season for bell peppers, herbs and tomatoes! Start throwing those over your should toward the end of this month and make a wish!

Lori- We’re really lucky that we do not have any pest problems in our veggie plots, other than the occasional caterpillar. Well, not yet, at least. The only real pest we have is our digging dog, but like we said, she’s grown up a bit and has left the plants alone. Everything is watered and fertilized regularly. We did have some serious bug problems on our climbing roses and found an organic “Earth Safe” spray for the leaves. But ironically, this killed not only the bugs ,but almost killed the whole plant too. Consulting your local ,good, gardening store for advice is probably your best bet. Good luck!

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17 Flanboyant Eats February 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I just came across your blog through some one else’s. I have to say I simply love it. A great way of sharing with us who you are. You seem to have a lovely relationship and I applaud that. Keep it simple!

I’ve now bookmarked you, I like it so much! :)

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18 MyKitchenInHalfCups February 7, 2008 at 3:25 am

Thanks for this great reminder of all most anything good to eat wrapped in a rice paper is a joy! Yours are beautiful.
And oh how I wish lettuce seeds over my shoulder would grow like yours. I do get bushel baskets of basil in the summer at least.

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19 Deborah February 7, 2008 at 8:48 am

I’m so glad you visited my blog, because I had never been to yours and I love it!! A nice, fresh pineapple sounds great right now!

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20 White on Rice Couple February 7, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Flanboyant – We’ve learned to not only live, but cook together over the past 12 years. During this time, there’s been both lovely , ugly, burnt and overcooked moments between us. But that’s what makes it so fun and with the help of your Latin expertise, hopefully we’ll learn to cook and learn…Latin Style!

My Kitchen – Hey, baskets of basil are just as wonderful! Those fresh basil beauties in themselves are worth lots of $$$. Sales of those can pay two months of our heating bills!

Deborah – We’re happy to found you and your delicious chocolate peanut butter thumbprint cookies!

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21 Julie February 7, 2008 at 4:24 pm

This salad and/or rolls look great. For a long time, I was not one to mix savory with sweet, but now I really enjoy it as long as the sweet is not too sweet, but like in this recipe, the fruit enhances the meat.

I’m so glad you dropped by A Finger In Every Pie, so I could come find you both and learn all that you have to share — and that is so, so much! I love your site, and all the different places it goes, from Banh Mi to last meals…I also get a great deal of pleasure from finding couples whom I think are like G and myself, who have that kind of symbiotic bonding, lots of playing, loving, solving problems together…

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22 White on Rice Couple February 7, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Julie – A great way to start mixing savory with sweet is introducing good, fresh fruit as the sweet factor. This is one element to Viet cuisine that makes it so different – layering different, fresh flavors to every bite , but on your own terms.
We’re glad to know that you and G have so much in common, much like us. We definitely are opposites in many, many ways, but it’s these differences that keep us in “check” and balanced. It’s all about having fun together, even in the rough and “burnt, overcooked, Oh shit!” times. :)

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23 mangopowergirl February 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

happy new year! what a fun blog & great photos!

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24 swirlingnotions February 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm

These look fantastic! I love the idea of adding pineapple to spring rolls. And I just planted a gazillion kinds of lettuce last weekend, so now you’ve got me all excited about them coming into their own. I think I’ll go peek on them now . . .

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25 White on Rice Couple February 14, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Mangopowergirl- Thanks and happy new year to you too! May this year bless you with lots of mangoes!

Swirlingnotions- Oh how fun! It’s been a great year for our lettuce, lots of rain! Can’t wait to see what you make with your home grown lettuce!

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26 diva April 23, 2008 at 1:11 am

this looks so delicious. loving the pineapple! x

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27 Jerry April 23, 2008 at 9:38 am

Oh yum! Sounds delicious!

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28 Kevin April 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Those wraps look nice and fresh and tasty!

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29 Healthy Low Fat Recipes March 26, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I am always looking for healthy recipes. I cannot wait to prepare and cook the wraps and express to my friends how they are. Thank you for the great site.

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30 thy December 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

my friend also have thin slice of green apple to add some sour to the roll and it turn out fabulous. another way to have a roll is cut thin slice of pork(pork belly would be best) mix with tiny bit of pure fish sauce +minced lemongrass+ alot of oyster sauce,leave it for a day,put it in the oven tomorrow and just enjoy the very best kind of scent and flavor.oh yeal,dont forget the thick soulthern style nuoc cham (dip).just want to share one of the recipe i love.

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31 thy December 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm

i just remember that i would add minced garlic to the recipe i share
:)

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