I love just about every single spring rolls in existence, from pork belly to baked fish. Bo bia, on the other hand, never really made that much of impact on my appetite. I can’t remember eating them a lot growing up, therefore I never crave for them. Last year during a family reunion, my aunt had bo bia on the menu. The females of the family got together to form an assembly line to make bo bia. A few people were in charge of rolling them, while others were in charge of wrapping them up so they will stay fresh, and some were in charge of re-stocking the fillings. It was a lot of fun being in the kitchen with my family and dogging on each other’s roll. We were all so hungry at the time too so we kept sneaking in a roll here and there. Anytime someone’s roll were deemed ugly, that roll was to be disposed immediately in the form of eating it! We definitely took advantage of that and soon everybody started messing up on purpose. My aunt and mom finally caught on when we kept asking for more fillings. Because of that day, I became very fond of bo bia!
Bo bia is made with a variety of ingredients; sauteed jicama, Chinese sausage, eggs, sauteed dried prawns, lettuce, and mint leaves. Prepared fish sauce is my dip of choice for most spring rolls but bo bia is the only exception. Bo bia is best eaten with a peanut-hoison sauce. This type of sauce is richer but it’s a nice balance with all the vegetables in the roll.
1 Jicama (5-6 cups)
1-2 carrots (3 cups)
1 cup of dried prawns
4-5 Chinese sausage link
mint leaves or cilantro
1. Rehydrate the dried prawns in warm water. Once it has soften, sauteed the prawns in oil and two spring of minced green onions.
2. Julienne the jicamas and carrots. Sauteed them in a little bit of oil until tender and season
with a couple pinch of salt.
3. Boil the sausage link in water until fully cooked and then thinly slice the sausage to your liking.
4. Beat the eggs and then fry them very thinly as if you are making crepes. Once your eggs are fried, slice them in thin strips, if not you can leave them as a sheets.
5. Prepare your lettuce and mints/cilantro. Chop them up and then mix them together.
6. Lay out all the ingredients and get ready to roll.
7. In a sauce pan combine 3 cup of water, 1 cup of hoisin, and 1/2 cup peanut butter to make the sauce. Add chili to your liking for spiciness.
8. Roll, dip, and enjoy!