Roll Your Own

There's a definite technique to rolling the perfect Vietnamese fajita ($10.95 to $12.95) at Mo Mong (1201 Westheimer, 713-524-5664). Each of the six wafer-thin, translucent sheets of gummy rice paper is separated from the others by plastic discs. Carefully remove one of the sheets, placing it on your plate. Then pile on a lettuce leaf, a little of the unbelievably tasty, thinly sliced, charbroiled meat (pork, beef or chicken) and some fresh herbs and veggies like mint, cilantro, carrots and cucumber strips. Throw in some crushed peanuts for added texture. To complete your spring roll-like creation, fold the rice paper -- first the bottom half, then both sides, then the top -- as if you were making an envelope. Dunk the roll into a mixture of fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, sugar and hot pepper flakes, being careful to bring the bowl close to your mouth so nothing dribbles. Then bite down on the biggest piece you can manage. Repeat often.
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Paul Galvani